Visiting the prison

Visit opportunities will be booked as per prisoners I.E.P regime, this will provide our prisoners a 2-hour time slot.

Visiting the prison

Visits will operate Wednesday to Sunday and can be booked as normal by residents via the Kiosk. Prisoners must book their visit 48 hours prior to the visit.

The booking times available are below:

Wednesday - Friday
1400 – 1600 Visits session

Saturday - Sunday
Morning Session
0930 - 1130 Visits session

Saturday and Sunday
Afternoon Session
1400 – 1600 Visits session

Who cannot have a visit?
Symptomatic prisoners under isolation.


Refreshments are available in the Visits Hall. However, these refreshment’s must be purchased in advance in the Visitors Centre. You will be provided with a receipt, to take into the Visits Hall and can be exchanged for your purchased items, which will be delivered to your table by a Red Band prisoner.

Please be conscious there is limited stock available, so order your refreshments early to avoid disappointment.


Searching during social visits will be in line with current guidance.
Please be patient, courteous and understanding of our new ways of working. Staff at HMP Northumberland will do their very best to try to make the visit experience as enjoyable as it can be.

Visiting times

Details of HMP Northumberland visiting times.

Visits will operate Wednesday to Sunday and can be booked as normal by prisoners via the Kiosk. The times are below:

  • Wednesday: 2pm - 4pm
  • Thursday: 2pm - 4pm
  • Friday: 2pm - 4pm
  • Saturday: 9:30am - 11:30am & 2pm - 4pm
  • Sunday: 9:30am - 11:30am & 2pm - 4pm




How to book a visit

Guidelines of how to book visits to Northumberland prison.

Prisoners must book their own visits using the wing kiosks, an electronic booking system. Prisoners must book the Date; Time Type of visit, and then inform visitors of this information.

Legal visits are booked by email:

Before and during visits

What to expect and how to prepare for visiting the prison.

Social Visitors have the option to present one photographic ID document from List A.

List A

  • Passports (which must contain proof of address, otherwise proof of address will still be required)
  • Identity cards from an EU or Europeans Economic Area (EEA) country
  • UK photocard driving licences
  • EU or EEA driving licence
  • NI Electoral identity cards
  • US passport card
  • Proof of age card recognised under PASS with a unique reference number (this includes the Citizen ID card)
  • Armed Forces identity card
  • UK biometric residence permit (BRP)

Should you be unable to present an ID document from List A, they you may present one ID from List B, supported by one document from List C.

List B

  • Home Office travel document (convention travel document, stateless person's document, one-way document or certificate of travel)
  • Older person's bus pass
  • Freedom pass
  • Proof of age card recognised under the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) without a unique reference number (please refer to List A where a unique reference number is present)

List C

  • Birth or adoption certificate
  • Education certificate from a regulated and recognised educational institution (such as NVQ, SQA, GCSE, A level or degree certificate)
  • Rental or purchase agreement for a residential property (signed and dated)
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Bank, Building Society or credit union current account card (on which the claimed identity is shown)


On your first visit, you will need this information to register on the electronic system which records your photo image and an image of their finger scan.

First time visitors should arrive 20 minutes prior to the first visit, to allow time to register. Once on the system, this will speed up future visits.

Children will not be photographed or have finger prints taken but ID will be required.

All visitors should expect to be searched when entering the prison.

Visits room security staff maintain a balance between security and support. Staff are trained to detect any attempts to pass contraband within the visits room and to challenge behaviour which contravenes normally accepted public decency standards.



Dress Code for Visitors

HMP Northumberland operates a family orientated visits policy. The majority of our visitors are accompanied by children and we want to foster a decent, safe and relaxed family environment for all our visitors.

The following items of clothing should not be worn:

× Hats, scarves or head coverings which are not worn on religious grounds

× Jackets or coats, hoodies or gloves

× Inappropriately damaged clothing

× Metal hair accessories

× Steel toe capped shoes/boots or cycle/motorcycle shoes

× Non-prescription glasses i.e. sunglasses

× See-through / revealing clothing

× Ripped Jeans

× Items of clothing that display offensive abusive or insulting words or gestures

× Mini or very short skirts/dresses unless worn with leggings

× Shorts which are shorter than mid thigh to knee length

× Visible or exposed underwear

× Smart watches


This list is not exhaustive.

It is up to prison staff to make decisions and judgements as to when clothing is inappropriate. When making these decisions, staff will always consider decency and diversity. You may be asked to adjust clothing or wear alternative clothing if available. As a last resort your visit may be cancelled if the dress code cannot be followed.



Security guidance and details about enforced behavioural standards for those visiting prisoners at HMP Northumberland.

  • Visitors undergo a number of security procedures before gaining entry to the visit room. This is to prevent escape and prevent the introduction of illicit items.
  • By concentrating on entry procedures, a more relaxed environment can be created within the visit room, enhancing the experience.
  • Visitors must provide their identity, provide biometric finger scans, undergo rub down and drug detection dog searches, submit items for X-ray and be checked with metal detector wands.

    A future addition to this process is an online video which will provide insight into entering a prison through a child’s eye.

Types of visit

Legal Visits

Professional Visitors will be able to book a visit as per normal procedures via the establishments booking clerk.

Please be aware that legal visits will be booked to coincide with the allocated socail visits session for each House Block.

Legal / Official Visitors will book their visits via

All visitors must provide identification at the Visits Entrance.


Assisted Prison Visits Scheme (APVS)

The Assisted Prison Visits Unit (APVU) provides financial support with the cost of travel to visit a relative, partner or escort a child to visit a loved one in prison. Some costs can also be claimed if overnight accommodation is required to attend a visit. Claimants must be over the age of 18 years, and receiving benefits such as Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. Claims are now made quickly and easily online although it is possible to ask for telephone assistance with this or to request a paper application.

See Assisted Prison Visits for more information or to apply.




Contact by email, letter or card

Information about emailing, sending cards or letters to and sent from a prisoner.

Emailing a prisoner

The prison subscribes to the scheme whereby members of the public can send emails via a secure third party.

These are then printed in the prison and handed to the prisoner as mail.

This facility is widely advertised within the prison and the visitors centre. Families can also send blank forms which residents can write on and be emailed back in response. Further to this, friends and family members are able to subscribe to this service via the internet.



Each prisoner is allowed to send unlimited letters, with one letter each week at the expense of the prison.

Following approval by a Unit Manager, more than one letter per week may be sent at the expense of Sodexo if justified by the prisoner’s circumstances.

Prisoners are provided with a pen, writing paper and an envelope.

Letters sent into the prison for prisoners will be photocopied and the prisoner will receive the photocopy, not the original, except R39 mail.



All cards that are sent in directly from families/friends will not be photocopied but placed into the prisoner’s stored property. If families and friends wish to send in cards, they must do so directly from either Moon Pig or Funky Pigeon. If we receive a Moon Pig or Funky Pigeon card from a family or friends address, it will be placed into the prisoners stored property.

Visitor centre facilities

Refreshments are available in the Visits Hall. However these refreshements must be purchased in advance in the Visitors Centre. You will be provided with a receipt, to take into the Visits Hall and can be exchanged for your purchased items, which will be delivered to your table by a Red Band prisoner.

Please be conscious there is limited stock available, so order your refreshments early to avoid dissapointment.

How we collect and use your data


In order to facilitate your visit to one of our prisons and to ensure that we deliver appropriate levels of security and safety and prevent crime, for identification purposes we shall collect your name, date of birth, address, a biometric template of your fingerprint and a photograph. A series of reference points from a finger print are collected, allowing a unique identification pattern. We do not collect or hold actual fingerprints.

Our prisons operate CCTV and staff may wear Body Worn Video Recording Equipment. We do not collect biometric readings or photographs of children under 16, however with the use of CCTV, images may routinely be captured.


We will only share your information with a third party where there is a legal obligation to do so.


You have legal rights in connection with personal information. Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing.
  • Object to processing of your personal information by us or on our behalf in certain situations.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.


We keep personal data in accordance with our clients’ and Sodexo’s retention procedures. These retention periods depend on the nature of the information (e.g. we apply different retention periods to different type of information such as CCTV and your visitor record), and may be subject to change.

If you have any questions or concerns about how long we retain your personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer using the details below.


To exercise your rights, you can contact us by writing to us at the following address: or email the Global Data Protection Office at the following email address: stating your surname, first name and the reason for your request. We will most likely ask you for additional information in order to identify you and to enable us to deal with your request

You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office and file a complaint. (


HMP Northumberland
NE65 9XG