Who Can Visit A Prisoner?

Who Can Visit A Prisoner?

Who Can Visit a Prisoner in a HMP Prison in the UK? A Comprehensive Guide

Visiting a prisoner in a Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) in the United Kingdom is a procedure governed by specific rules and regulations. This guide aims to shed light on who is eligible to visit a prisoner in HMP facilities across England, Wales, and Scotland, what you need to know beforehand, and how to arrange a visit.

General Eligibility

In general, family members and friends can visit a prisoner, but the process and eligibility can vary between facilities and the prisoner’s individual circumstances. Usually, the prisoner will have a list of approved visitors and only those on this list will be allowed to visit.

England and Wales

  • Close Relatives: Spouses, partners, parents, siblings, and children are typically allowed.
  • Extended Family: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins can also visit but may require additional approval.
  • Friends: Must usually be named on the prisoner’s approved visitor list.


  • Immediate Family: Preference is usually given to immediate family members.
  • Non-family Visitors: Must usually be named on the prisoner’s visitor list and may require additional vetting.

Who Can Visit A Prisoner in the UK?


  • Criminal Records: Having a criminal record can complicate your ability to visit. Approval is at the discretion of the prison.
  • Age Limit: Visitors must be 18 or over unless they are the child of the prisoner being visited.
  • Number of Visitors: Limits on the number of visitors per session can apply.

Booking a Visit

  • Appointment: Pre-book a slot online or by calling the specific HMP facility.
  • ID Requirements: Photo ID and proof of address are generally required.

Who Can Visit A Prisoner HMP?

Visiting Times

Visiting times can vary by prison and by the prisoner’s own schedule or prison employment commitments. Always check in advance.

Directions and Parking

Each prison will have its own directions available on its website, as well as information on parking facilities. Some prisons have limited parking, so early arrival is advisable.

The Visit Experience

  • Security Checks: Expect to go through rigorous security checks before entering.
  • Conduct: Abide by all rules and guidelines outlined by the prison facility.


Visiting a prisoner in a Her Majesty’s Prison in England, Wales, or Scotland is generally restricted to approved family members and friends. Before planning your visit, make sure to check specific prison guidelines and book in advance. Always adhere to the rules of the facility to ensure that your visit goes smoothly.

Who Can Visit A Prisoner?