Frankland Visitor Centre

Frankland Visitor Centre

Address:

HMP Frankland,
Brasside,
Durham,
DH1 5YD

Contact details

Visitor centre: 0191 376 5200 Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:30am to 4pm. Contact our visits team or helpline if you have any queries or would like some support for you or your family. Details HERE.
Visitor centre email:  use contact form to email HERE 
Prison: 0191 3765000
Visits booking line: 0191 3765048
 

When can I visit?

Visits will take place on Tuesday to Sunday afternoons - between 2pm and 4pm. You will be allocated a visits time when you book.  (There will be no visits on a Monday).

All prisoners are entitled to a minimum of 2 visits per month. Extra visits can be earned by the prisoners through the enhanced privileges scheme. 

How can I book a visit?

All visit bookings must be made by telephone. The visitor has to phone the visit booking line to arrange their visit with the prison booking clerk.  

The booked visits line can be contacted by calling: 0191 376 5048. 

The visit booking line will be open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 12noon.  

Two full working days’ notice is required to book a visit.

The booking clerk will ask you some questions about your health relating to Coronavirus symptoms and talk you through new procedures to keep everyone safe.

The booking line can be very busy so please do keep trying.

What ID documents will I need?

ID is required on your first visit. This should be ‘picture’ ID where possible, or more than one utility bill or letter showing your name and address. Details of acceptable ID are available in the Visitors’ Centre. 

All visitors should also bring with them a proof of residence (such as utility bills, driving licence etc) to confirm that all members of the visiting party live in the same household.

Who can visit and receive a visit?

A maximum number of three people are able to visit, with no more than two adults. Children are included in the 3 visitors.

You can only visit if you are on the prisoner's approved contact list. 

All visitors MUST be named when you make your booking, including babies and children. This should be confirmed when booking your visit as details cannot be added later.

From 22nd December 2021 you, and anyone attending the visit with you, will need to take a Lateral Flow test before your visit and bring the evidence of a negative result with you to the prison. This could be:
• A time stamped photo of the negative test taken on the day of the visit, or
• The text or email you received from the NHS when you registered the result online

If you do not provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test you will not be allowed entry to the prison.

Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a test.

You will still be able to have physical contact with the person you are visiting during your visit, but you will all need to wear a mask or face covering.

Refreshments and play areas will not be available during this time.

Please follow the social distancing guidelines in place such as the one way systems, 2 metre queuing systems, distanced seating arrangements in the visits hall and keep 2 metres from other visiting parties.

Please notify the prison if you think there will be difficulties with this arrangement.

Am I allowed physical contact with the prisoner during visits?

From 22nd December 2021 you, and anyone attending the visit with you, will need to take a Lateral Flow test before your visit and bring the evidence of a negative result with you to the prison. This could be:
• A time stamped photo of the negative test taken on the day of the visit, or
• the text or email you received from the NHS when you registered the result online

If you do not provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test you will not be allowed entry to the prison.

Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a test.

You will still be able to have physical contact with the person you are visiting during your visit, but you will all need to wear a mask or face covering.

Please follow the social distancing guidelines in place such as the one way systems, 2 metre queuing systems, distanced seating arrangements in the visits hall and keep 2 metres from other visiting parties.

Where can I wait when I arrive for my visit?

When you arrive at the prison you must go to the Nepacs Visitors’ Centre. 

Please do not be late for your visit.

In the event of limited space visitors may be required to return to their vehicle to await a phone call when ready to be processed.  

On arrival at the visitors centre:
• Visitors will need to wash their hands upon arrival and departure of the visitors centre.
• You will be asked a few questions about possible coronavirus symptoms and risk assessed before being allowed to enter.
• Face masks will be given to visitors and must be worn throughout the visit.  Visitors will be asked to remove face coverings when having their identity checked and going through search procedures.  Visitors can let the staff know if there is a medical reason why they can’t wear a mask when booking the visit. (Masks will be provided by the prison and visitors will not be permitted to wear their own face covering). Children 11 and under do not need to wear a mask. 
• You will need to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test on your mobile phone through the NHS app, text or email. The test must have been taken on the day of the visit. 

There are toilets, baby changing facilities, lockers, disabled access and parking.

Toilet facilities are available in the visitors centre and visits hall, however, only one person can enter the facility at one time or the individuals must be from the same household.

The tea bar in the visitors centre and visits hall is now closed until further notice.

Personal belongings - It is safer for everyone if visitors come without personal belongings.  Unfortunately nothing can be brought into the prison except in exceptional circumstances i.e. medical emergency.  Lockers are available for use in the Visitors' Centre if needed.  Property is not to be left unattended in the Visitors' Centre and must be secured in the lockers provided.

Nepacs staff and volunteers will be available in the visitors centre on visits days, Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am to 4pm and can be contacted on 0191 376 5200.

How can I get there?

Train or bus to Durham, then taxi or bus to Brasside. Bus number 62 leaves at 2 minutes past the hour from North Road in Durham and picks up for the return journey at 26 minutes past the hour.

There is no bus to Brasside on a Sunday. The number 64 bus will drop off at the Jovial Monk and you will need to walk to the prison.

Taxis from North Road in Durham will cost around £8 - £9.

If you are travelling by car there is free parking on site and free on-street parking. Disabled parking spaces are available. 

Is there a dress code?

HMP Frankland requests that visitors are of an acceptable standard of dress when visiting. Visitors to HMP Frankland must be dressed appropriately at all times, this reflects their aim to create a family atmosphere as part of their reducing re-offending and decency agenda.  This applies to all visitors to the establishment regardless of age and gender.  Please note, if you are unable to meet the requirements of the dress code, on arrival you will not be permitted to enter the establishment until you have changed into appropriate, alternative clothing. 

The flowing types of clothing are not permitted:

  • Short/ cropped tops that reveal a naked midriff
  • Low cut tops or shirts that are unbuttoned to reveal cleavage or bare chest
  • All clothing that does not cover the thigh area showing bare flesh
  • Shorts, dresses and skirts must be knee length
  • Any clothing with rips or tears
  • Headwear (other than for religious purposes)
  • Clothing that displays offensive material
  • No clothing with camouflage print
  • No footwear with protective toecaps

All clothing should be of a type that allows staff to carry out the required level of searching without difficulty. 

In addition to the above, the following items are not allowed in the establishment;

  • Any clothing fitted with large buckles, chains and/ or excessive amount of zips
  • Belts with large buckles
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Handkerchiefs (tissues are available in the visits hall)
  • Excessive jewellery or any piercings which cannot be easily shown to searching staff
  • Padded jackets or coats

Locker facilities are located in the Visitors’ Centre for outer garments and personal effects.  Visitors are reminded that staff are required to search visitors as a condition of entry and that all visits take place at the discretion of the visits manager.

What can I take into the visit?

  • Locker key

  • ID card

  • A bottle of baby milk, pre-mixed, nappies and wipes.

Everything else is to be left in your locker.

Can I get help with the cost of visiting?

You may be able to claim travel expenses if you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits.

Please ask at the desk in the Visitors’ Centre for details of the Help with Prison Visits Scheme before commencing your visit.  Staff can help you complete the form.  

Visit: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-prison-visits

If you have problems accessing the website ask the visitors centre for support.

What facilities are there for children?

Normally there is a small play area and youth zone in the Visitors’ Centre and a play area within the main visits room in the prison.  However at this time, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the play area and youth zones will remain closed.

Children under 11 years of age are allowed to have physical contact with the prisoner during a visit (such as a hug). Older children and adults are allowed to have physical contact as they are now required to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test prior to the visit.  

Parents and guardians remain responsible for their children at all times.

We are offering activity packs for children to take home with them after a visit. If you would like us to send your children a craft and activity pack home please contact the visits team on 0191 3765200. 

Can I take anything or send anything for the person I am visiting?

Property can no longer be handed in or posted in, the prisoner must order through the approved catalogues inside.

Any property to be handed out from the prison will be done after 1.30pm, before you go across for your visit.

What happens when I enter the prison?

After reporting to the Visitors’ Centre for initial processing you will be called to the prison Gate.

Shoes, belts, jewellery and approved items will be examined in a tray through an X-ray machine.

You will be wanded down with a metal detector (hand held) and respectfully patted down to ensure no unauthorised items are taken into the prison. You will be asked to remove your face mask so that it can be searched.

Wheelchairs are no longer available, visitors can use their own.

A drug detection dog will be on duty just before you go into the visits room. You will be asked to stand at a certain point and a prison officer will walk the dog past you. If the dog indicates that drugs in some way have contaminated you, you will be offered a closed visit, or you can rebook for another day.

Hand sanitiser will be provided on entry for you to use before entering the visits hall.

After this you will go through the doors to the visits room.

How can I keep in touch with a prisoner?

The prisoner is able to telephone his family/friends during association (time away from their cells). They are also able to write cards or letters.

You can write to the prisoner, using his name and number. A prisoner will keep the same prison number during his time in prison and will not change, even if he changes prison.

You can also contact the prisoner using the following:

- Email a prisoner service. Find out more here: www.emailaprisoner.com

- Prison Voicemail.  For more information and the costs associated with this, click here.

- Video call via Purple Visits - Each video call is 30 minutes in duration. Four people can be on the call, but the lead caller must be over 18 years old. The costs of the video calls are free whilst social visits are restricted.Families and friends can access the service by downloading the “Purple Visits” app on their smartphone or tablet – the rest of the instructions are clear from the app. Details on how to get started are HERE.

If you have any questions about any of the services above please ring our Nepacs visits team Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am to 4pm on 0191 376 5200.

How can I send money to the prisoner?

Family and friends are able to log on to an online electronic system to send money to a prisoner.  When you log in you will need to set up a ‘payee’ very much like you would when you do your internet banking.  To do this you need the prisoner’s number and date of birth.  Once you have input these into the online form and the system has checked this against NOMIS, if the details match, the money will then appear on the prison’s internal spreadsheet (an admin tool) the following morning for approval.  The system also gives you an option to pay via a debit card. 

Once the money has been approved it should appear within 1-3 days in the prisoner’s bank account.

By transferring money online it means the money is transferred more quickly, there are less processes and there is no physical handling of money for staff. 

You are no longer able to send cheques, postal orders and cash into the prisoner.

If you cannot use the online service you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:

- are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
- do not have a debit card
This will allow you to send money by post.

For more information and to arrange transfer of money to a prisoner visits https://www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money

Is there someone I can talk to?

We offer a listening ear and friendly support. If you have concerns about any aspect of visiting or need more information please ask the booking clerk when you book your visit or ring our Nepacs Visitors’ Centre team 0191 376 5200 between Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:30am to 4pm.

Our family support worker is also available to help you or your family please contact the Nepacs’ family support team by telephone 0191 376 5201.

We also hold regular Visitors’ Voice sessions where visitors’ get together to support each other. On occasions a representative from the prison attends to explain what happens within different departments and to answer questions. Check dates in the centre or ask a member of the team.

If you are concerned about any prisoner please speak to a Visits officer in the prison or our visits team (numbers above). 

You can also contact the prison's confidential welfare helpline on 0800 0320079 - you can leave a message and this will be picked up by staff in the prison.

Who do I contact if our family needs support?

If you or your family have any additional needs please contact the Nepacs’ family support team by telephone 0191 376 5201 Tuesday to Thursday, or the visitors centre team on 0191 3765200 Tuesday to Sunday 11.30am to 4pm. 

The Nepacs’ family support team at HMP Frankland can work with a prisoner and their family to:

  • Provide advice and support to families to reduce barriers to visiting
  • Signpost families to relevant community services
  • Assist to establish or maintain family bonds
  • Mediate reconciliation with family members
  • Provide support in gaining access to children
  • Support with practical issues such as transport and childcare
  • Offer emotional support
  • Provide help to access special family days and father-child visits, including after-school clubs
  • Help access financial support for travel and family hardships
  • Support in preparing for move to a different establishment or release - including our Heading Home re:settle support pack (which support prisoners and families before release)

We hold regular sessions (called Visitors’ Voice) where visitors’ get together to support each other. On occasions a representative from the prison attends to explain what happens within different departments and to answer questions. Your visitors can check forthcoming dates in the visitors’ centre.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about a prisoner?

If you are concerned about any prisoner please speak to a Visits officer in the prison or our visits team on 0191 3765200, Tuesday to Sunday 11.30am to 4pm.

You can also contact the prison's confidential welfare helpline on 0800 0320079 - you can leave a message and this will be picked up by staff in the prison.

Do you run any special family visits?

Special family day visits usually take place during school holidays. Prisoners interested in attending must complete an application form. Dates are advertised in the visitors’ centre. 

At present our visits team are providing family activity packs which are sent to children at home. If you would like to receive a pack for your family please ring the visitors centre on 0191 3765200 or email HERE.

Who do I contact if I have any special requirements?

If you or your family have any additional needs, medical or otherwise, please contact the Visitors’ Centre team on 0191 3765200 between 11.30am and 4pm Tuesday to Sunday.

For more information about visiting please get in touch with the visitor centre on 0191 3765200.

Send us an enquiry