Frankland Visitor Centre

Frankland Visitor Centre

Address:

HMP Frankland,
Brasside,
Durham,
DH1 5YD

VISITS TO HMP FRANKLAND HAVE RESTARTED - FROM 27 APRIL 2021

We are delighted to announce that visits have restarted at HMP Frankland. This webpage provides details of the new arrangements. Please read through these details before you visit. A summary of the key points you need to know are below:


Who can you visit:  All prisoners may be in scope for visits, including those who are shielding so long as social distancing measures are maintained at all times (the use of closed visits facilities or screening may also be considered). 

Visits booking: While prisoners may request a visit, all visits must be booked by an adult visitor as additional information will need to be checked and communicated to all visitors.

Social visits will not be undertaken if our area is put in geographical lockdown. Also anyone living in a Geographical lockdown area will not be allowed to visit. 

Frequency of visits: Initially each prisoner will be allowed 1 visit a month to get over the peak of the demand for a visit - if the demand for visits is not taken up then another visit will be allowed as the prison do not want empty visits tables. 

Length of visits: This will be reduced from the normal visits timings due to staggered start and finish timings but minimum of 1 hour. 

Face-coverings: All visitors over the age of 11 are required to wear face-coverings on arrival at the prison site (including in the visitors centre), moving around the establishment, during the visit and leaving the establishment (including the visitors centre) unless requested to remove them for security checks. 

Social distancing during visits: Public health guidance is that visitors and prisoners must maintain 2m distance both between themselves and other visit groups. Where more than one visitor is allowed on a visit as they must be from the same household, it is not necessary for them to maintain 2m distance between themselves while seated during the visit, but they must still remain 2m from the prisoner. There will be clear signage, floor markings and one way systems wherever possible.

Physical contact: Children under 11 years of age are permitted to have physical contact with the prisoner during social visits (such as hugs). 

Adults and visitors over 11 years can have some physical contact with the prisoner during the social visit if they have a negative lateral flow test. You can book a lateral flow test when you book your visit. You will be given a time slot for this to be done before your visit, between 12.15pm and 1.15pm. If the result is negative you will be able to hug your loved one at the beginning and end of the visit and hold hands.  

Adults and visitors over 11 years, who have not had a negative lateral flow test prior to the visit, are not allowed to have physical contact with the prisoner on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kissing) in order to maintain social distancing and reduce the risks to prisoners, staff and other visitors, if this is breached then visitors may be banned for three months. 

Acceptable behaviour: All visitors must observe social distancing and other visit rules throughout the visit including any specific instructions offered by staff.  Failure to do so on the part of either the visitors or prisoners will result in a warning but repeated or serious violations may result in the visit being ended early. Visitors are expected to follow the instructions being given.

Where one or more children are included on a visit, the accompanying adult or adults will be held fully responsible for the oversight of the children in the visits party, including ensuring that they remain seated, observe social distancing and physical contact rules.  Whilst there is no age restrictions for children, the prison are asking visitors to think carefully about whether the child will be able to observe the social distancing rules.  Failure to do so will result in a warning but repeated or serious violations may result in the visit being ended early.  Where two adults are in attendance with one child, if the child is unable to observe social distancing and physical contact rules then one of the adults may be asked to leave the visit early together with the child (where visitors anticipate possible difficulties they may wish to plan in advance which adult might stay to continue the visit and which might leave with the child). 

Indoor Creche/Play areas: Indoor creche and play areas will not be available.   It is recommended that you bear this in mind when deciding whether to bring very young children as they will be required to stay seated for the duration of their visit.  Activity packs are available for children to take home after their visit.

Refreshments: Refreshments are available in the visits room. Orders are placed in the visitors centre and then delivered to you at your table in the visits hall. 

Property: No property may be brought or handed in by visitors on visits. 
 

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
Visits booking email: gov.uk/prison-visits - Not currently available

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)

As demand for visits is expected to be high, visits will be limited to one per month, per prisoner. However the prison do not want any empty visits tables so will keep a list of prisoners whose families/friends can come at short notice.

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 9:30am to 12:15pm and 12:45pm to 3:30pm.  

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.

Am I allowed physical contact with the prisoner during visits?

Whilst restrictions on physical contact are easing in the community, high risk environments like prisons are still required to take extra measures to stop infections spreading. We know this is very difficult but social distancing will need to continue for in-person visits to protect visitors and people in prison (see note below re younger children). 

Health authorities are advising us on how we might be able to improve visits and increase physical contact while keeping everyone safe.

It's important we do everything we can to keep the virus out of our prisons. You can help us achieve this by having home tests before you visit.

Children aged 11 and under are allowed to have physical contact with the prisoner during the visit (see below). Adults and visitors over 11 years can have some physical contact with the prisoner during the social visit if they have a negative lateral flow test. You can book a lateral flow test when you book your visit. You will be given a time slot for this to be done before your visit, between 12.15pm and 1.15pm. If the result is negative you will be able to hug your loved one at the beginning and end of the visit and hold hands.  

Adults and visitors over 11 years, who have not had a negative lateral flow test prior to the visit, are not allowed to have physical contact with the prisoner on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kissing) in order to maintain social distancing and reduce the risks to prisoners, staff and other visitors, if this is breached then visitors may be banned for three months. 

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.

Guidance for physical contact for children aged 11 and under:

• There are no restrictions to the contact children under 11 can have, as long as it is in line with the prison’s normal rules.
• Children can leave their seat but will need to stay in the area marked out during this visit. 
• Everyone on the visit will need to follow social distancing guidance when they are arriving or leaving the visits hall.
• This is so that we can continue with social distancing between people who don’t know each other which is in line with the community guidance.

Who can visit and receive a visit?

A maximum number of three people are able to visit, with no more than two adults.

Visits will prioritise re-establishing face-to-face contact with close family members (or significant others). This may comprise of one of the following grouping combinations only:

  • A Single Adult - Aged 18 or over, who are a partner, parent, foster parent, grandparent, carer or significant other.
  • Two adults  - Aged 18 or over, who are two parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (e.g. a parent and grandparent).
  • Two adults and up to one dependent child - Aged 18 or over, who are: two parents, two foster parents, two grandchildren, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (e.g. a parent and a grandparent); and one dependent child (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited. 
  • A single adult and up to two children - Aged 18 or over, who are the partner, parent, foster parent, grandparent, carer or adult close relative or significant other and up to two dependent children (e.g. son daughter).

Visitors from two households are permitted to visit a prisoner at the same time. 

Significant others might include partners, carer or an individual on whom the person in prison relies on for emotional support.

If parents are not living together but are part of the same household bubble for a dependent child both parents will be allowed to visit

Visits will not therefore be allowed from:

  • Anyone who is symptomatic, been asked to self-isolate, has come into contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating or who lives within a geographical area identified via GOV.UK as an outbreak community with travel restrictions.
  • Three adults
  • Unaccompanied children
  • People who are not closely related to the prisoner or identified as a significant other.

Visits will not be allowed to:

  • Prisoners held in establishments within a geographical area identified via GOV.UK as an outbreak community with travel restrictions.
  • Protective Isolation Prisoners - Protective isolation is used for the temporary isolation of symptomatic prisoners and those who have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case.
  • Reverse Cohorting Unit Prisoners - All those: new to custody, returning from a bed-watch, from inter-prison transfers and subject to ongoing trials are required to spend 14 days in a unit to prevent the spread of infection from the community into the main population in custody. (At governor’s discretion, it may be possible to facilitate a visit if wholly exceptional circumstances apply).

How many people are allowed on each visit?

A maximum number of three people are allowed to visit including children.

All visitors must be from the same household (or household bubble). 

If there are no children visiting then a maximum of two adults are allowed.  

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.

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

How often am I able to visit?

As demand is expected to be high for visits, each prisoner will be limited to one visit per month.

However the prison do not want any empty visits tables so will keep a list of prisoners whose visitors can come at short notice. 

Safety measures in place

Moving around the prison:
• Staggered arrival visit slots have been arranged, processing time will be given at time of booking.
• Entry will be one household at a time.
• Entry and safe social distances for queuing will be marked on the paths outside the prison. 
• Perspex screens will be in place at certain points around the prison.
• Hand sanitisers, hand washing stations and waste disposal bins are in place at the Visitors Centre, and Visits Hall. 
• Posters will be on display throughout the prison explaining procedures for social distancing, face coverings, hand washing and Coronavirus symptoms. 


The visit:
• A visit will be reduced to a minimum of 1 hour to enable the prison to implement the staggered start and finish times 
• All visits will be contact-free unless evidence of a negative lateral flow test has been provided. Children aged under 11 are allowed contact with the prisoner during visits.  
• If social distancing measures and instructions are not followed, the visit may be ended and visitors asked to leave. Consequences could be that future visits will be banned for 3 months. 
• Seating arrangements have changed.  Seating zones will be marked out in the Visits Hall.
• Visitors and Prisoners will remain seated throughout the visit until they are instructed otherwise.
• At the end of the visit session, all visitor/s will be asked to leave. 
• Visits ending time will be staggered therefore please finish your visit when asked to do so. 

Thank you for your cooperation. The measures in place are to help protect you and your loved ones and to ensure safety of staff, visitors and residents.
 

Where can I wait when I arrive for my visit?

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

Visitors should arrive on time.  For safety purposes the number of people in the visitors' centre will be limited, so please do not arrive any earlier than 15 minutes before the start of the visit.

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 under 11 don’t need to wear a mask.

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 will not be open for the purchase of refreshments.

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.

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.

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

Everything else is to be left in your locker.

What will happen on the day of the visit?

On the day of your visit, please report to the Visitors’ Centre.

Visitors should arrive on time.  For safety purposes the number of people in the visitor centre will be limited, so please do not arrive any earlier than 15 minutes before the start of the visit.

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.
• Children under 11 don’t need to wear a mask.

If this is your first visit you will show your ID and have your photograph taken. You will then be provided with a locker key for your belongings (free of charge) as few items are allowed in with you. Please ask staff for details.

No wrist watches or mobile phones are allowed on visits.

When you enter the establishment you will undergo a core entry search.  This involves excess clothing and footwear going through an X-Ray scanner and walking through an archway metal detector, followed by a rub down search.  Before you enter the visits hall you will also be required to pass by the drug detection dogs. 

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.

Please think very carefully about whether any children visiting will be able to observe social distancing and social contact rules. There will be no play area or toys available for them and children may need to remain seated or within a restricted area throughout the visit.

Children under 11 years of age are allowed to have physical contact with the prisoner during a visit (such as a hug) but at present older children and adults are not allowed to have physical contact. If children are unable to observe the social distancing arrangements the visit may need to be ended. (If two adults attend with a child and they anticipate difficulties with distancing, they may wish to agree in advance which of them will leave with the child if needed.  This would enable the other adult to continue 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. 

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.

Can I have a video call with the prisoner?

Video calls are available for prisoners and their families/contacts at HMP Frankland.

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.

Video calls at Frankland will take place Monday to Friday, both on mornings and afternoons.

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 the video calls or need support 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?

Send Money to a Prisoner digital service

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. 

It is currently unclear at this point in time if there is a minimum or maximum that can be sent via the system.

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

How can I write or contact the prisoner?

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.

If you want to contact a prisoner but are not sure of his number or whereabouts, you can contact the Prisoner Location Service with his name, date of birth, relationship and reason you would like make contact.

Prisoner Location Service, PO Box 2152, Birmingham, B15 1SD
Or visit prisoner.location.service@noms.gsi.gov.uk

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 - see more information under: 'Can I have a video call with the prisoner?'

Can he phone or write to me?

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.

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.

Can I take 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.

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.

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