HMP & YOI Low Newton Visitor Centre

Address:

HMP&YOI Low Newton,
33/34 Finchale Avenue,
Brasside,
Durham
DH1 5SD

Click on the blue question below to see the answers appear underneath. 

Contact details

Visitors’ centre: 0191 3764138  or contact our family engagement manager from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 0191 3764232.
Visitors’ centre email:  use contact form to email HERE 

Prison: 0191 3764000

Visits booking line: 0300 303 0632
 

How can I book a visit?

You will need to be on the prisoner’s visitor list before you can request a visit. Please bear in mind that if you need to be added to a prisoner’s list, it may take up to 2 weeks.

Visitors under the age of 18 years are not allowed a prison visit during the first 72 hours in custody. All visits must be booked 72 hours before the planned visit. 

Book online

You can book a visit to HMP Low Newton online. When you book a visit online you will be offered up to 3 time slots for the visit.

Up to 3 days later, you will receive an email from the prison confirming your visit and the time slot.

To use the service you will need:

  • The prisoner number
  • The prisoner’s date of birth
  • Dates of birth for all visitors coming with you

You can access the service at www.gov.uk/prison-visits.

If you have any questions about this service, please contact pvb-team@digital.justice.gov.uk

Booking by telephone

To book a visit telephone the Visits Line on 0300 303 0632.

The line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.

A visit can be booked a minimum of 2 working days prior to your visit date (subject to availability) and a visit can be booked up in a maximum of 28 working days prior to the visit (subject to availability).

The person who books the visit must give details of every visitor who is attending the visit and must be on the prisoner’s contact list.

When can I visit?

Visits times are as follows:

Tuesday          2pm to 4pm

Thursday         2pm to 4pm

Sunday           2pm to 4pm

Visitors are asked to arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to their visit start time.

Who can visit?

Who can have visitors?

All prisoners can have visits at this time, except those subject to isolation or new arrivals in their first 14 days in custody. Those residents who are shielding can receive visits but must follow strict rules around social distancing.

Who can visit?

At most, 3 people can visit. All children are counted in the 3 visitor rule. If there are no children on the visit, then a maximum of 2 adults can visit.

All visitors must be on the prisoner's approved contact list.

Visitors’ are not allowed to stay in the Visitors’ Centre .

Visitors wearing an electronic tag are not permitted to visit unless approved by the Governor.

Face masks are optional and visitors will be permitted to have appropriate physical contact with the person they are visiting during the visit. Although you no longer need to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test, we would still encourage visitors to take a test prior to the visit if you are able to do so. This helps to keep you, your loved one, other visitors and staff safe and well.

Can I have physical contact with the prisoner during visits?

Appropriate physical contact is allowed during your visit with the person you are visiting.

Face masks are optional.

How often am I able to visit?

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month at present. This may change depending on demand and availability of visits.

Do I need a visiting order?

You do not need a visiting order. However, you will need a reference number which will be given to you when you book your visit by telephone. Please bring the confirmation reference number with you to the visit.

All visitors must be named on the prisoner’s contact list before they can book a visit and all visitors must be present when booking in. 

What ID documents will I need?

Social visitors have the option to present one photographic ID document from List A:

  • Passports
  • Identity cards from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • UK photocard driving licences
  • EU or EEA driving licences
  • 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 they be unable to present an ID document from List A, they may present one ID document 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 an 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)

Persons under the age of 16 years do not need ID.

All forms of ID must be originals, photocopies will not be accepted. If visitors fail to bring identification they will not be allowed into the prison.

Everyone needs photographic ID on every visit they attend to enable them to go on a social visit.

If you don’t have photographic ID please check out the websites below:
https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/pass-card (current cost is £15)

https://www.citizencard.com/apply-for-a-uk-id-card-online (Standard costs £15 but takes 21 days and urgent application costs £30 and could take up to 1-2 working days. When purchasing the card to be used for prison visits, you will be eligible for a 50% discount, making the cards cost £7.50 instead of £15.) 

Unfortunately if you do not have any photographic ID you will NOT be able to go have your social 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 starting your visit.   

Or visit https://www.gov.uk/help-with-prison-visits  to get started.

Find out more HERE.

How can I get there?

By train or bus: Train or bus to Durham, then taxi or bus to Brasside.

  • Bus service 62, from outside the bus station in North Road, Durham at 12 minutes past the hour (Monday to Saturday only). No Sunday service.

  • Bus service 64, which is every 10 minutes from outside Durham bus station (Monday -Saturday only) provides a limited service on a Sunday to the Jovial Monk Pub on Newton Hall Estate. The pub is a 10 minute walk to the visitors’ centre, which is an uphill walk on the return journey.

  • Taxis from Durham City cost around £9.00 each way.

Parking is available at the prison. 

Where can I wait when I arrive for my visit?

When you arrive at the prison you must go to the Visitors’ Centre where you will be asked to register at the desk, the prison visits process will be explained and your ID will be checked. 

Face masks are optional and although lateral flow tests are no longer compulsory, we would encourage visitors to produce a negative flow test before the visit if you are able to do so.   This helps to keep you, other visitors and your loved one in prison safe. If any visitors shows any Covid symptoms they will not be allowed on the visit.

Lockers are provided for you to use during your visit. 

Our tea bars, play and youth zones are currently closed.

One clear bottle of baby milk can be taken for babies along with any changing materials.

An officer will take all visitors over to the visits hall where you will be searched before entering the visits room.

What can I take into the visit?

  • Locker key
  • If a baby is visiting, the carer can take an empty feeding bottle with a factory sealed pack/carton of milk/juice, and dummy with them. Changing materials are also permitted.

Everything else including ID is to be left in your locker.

No scarves/headwear, fashion wigs, electronic devices worn on the wrist (inc Smart Watches and Fit Bits) can be worn on your visit.

If you are aged 12 and over, and do not provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test prior to the visit you will be required to wear a face mask during the visit.

Will I be searched?

Your ID and evidence of a negative lateral flow test will be checked on arrival at the visitors centre. 

An officer will take all visitors over to the visits hall where you will be searched (including your face covering) before entering the visits room.

There may be a passive drug detection dog on duty. If the dog indicates in any way that drugs have contaminated you, you will be offered a closed visit to assist in security. If your child is frightened of dogs you should inform staff. The dogs are friendly and do not bark or jump up.

What facilities are there for children?

Please note the play area and youth zones in the visits hall and visitors centre will be closed until further notice to help reduce opportunities for transmission of COVID-19.

Activity packs can be provided to children during their visit or to take home. Special craft family packs can also be requested in school holidays. Contact the visitors centre to find out more.

Parents/accompanying adults remain responsible for their children at all times and for ensuring that social distancing is maintained throughout the visit.

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

Property cannot be handed in for the prisoner.

Any items sent to the prisoner must be approved in advance by Wing staff in compliance with the facilities list, available to the prisoners from the Wing office on each Wing.

For example, if a prisoner requires some clothing sending in then they must fill out an application (App) and wait until it is authorised before asking the family/friend to send the parcel in to the prison. Any items received without approval will be returned to the sender and the postage costs will be charged to the prisoner.

In addition to approved items of clothing, letters, cards (not padded or with any embellishments), photographs (subject to security) and flowers delivered from any Interflora florist (flowers must not be in water bags) can be sent in without prior approval.

Books may also be posted in to the prisoner without prior approval as long as the prisoner has no more than 12 in their possession at any one time.

A range of items are available for the prisoner to purchase weekly eg tobacco, toiletries, phone credit, coffee, chocolate etc. Prisoners will also have to order newspapers and magazines on the wing. 

What health care services are available for prisoners?

Health care for prisoners in HMP Low Newton is currently provided by Reconnected To Health (RTH).

RTH is a partnership made up of Spectrum CIC (general healthcare), Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust/TEWV (mental health services) and Humankind (drug and alcohol services).

If a prisoner has a concern, they must let a member of healthcare staff know.

Please see their website for frequently asked questions and answers about health care provision for prisoners in north east prisons. Find out more here: https://spectrumhealth.org.uk/health-and-justice/faqs-for-families/

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

If you are concerned about anyone in custody, please speak to a Visits Officer in the prison or any staff at the Visitors’ Centre. Alternatively you can leave a telephone message using the ‘At risk’ line on 0191 376 4189.

Our family engagement manager is also available to help with any issues that you may be finding difficult during this time. Contact:

Tel: 0191 3764232 or 0191 3764138 

Email: lownewtonvc@nepacs.co.uk 

How can I send money to the prisoner?

Family and friends are now 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. 

Click here for the online information/ site to start sending money

https://www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money

If you are unable to use the online E-cash system you may be able to apply for an E-cash exemption. Exemptions need to be made in writing to the governor – Rob Young, explaining why you are unable to access the E-Cash system. Please note, the prison cannot accept letters directly from residents requesting exemptions. 

Upon receipt, all requests will be considered and those who meet the criteria for exemption will be written to confirming they are able to send money in. Each request will be carefully considered.

Exemptions will not be given to residents who have access to money via E-cash from other sources.

How can I stay in contact with a prisoner?

The prisoner is able to telephone her family/friends during association (time away from their cells), if she has bought phone credit and had your telephone number cleared with security. Be aware that it is not always possible for the prisoners to get to the phone and when they do there may be a long queue.

They are also able to write cards or letters, send an email or book a video call.

Writing letters

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

You can send in photos but any greetings cards must come direct from Funky Pigeon, Moon Pig or Jail Mate.

All correspondence is being photocopied and the photocopy will be passed onto the prisoner. Please use black or blue ink only and do not use glitter.

You are no longer able to send stamped addressed envelopes or stamps for the prisoner.

You can also contact the prisoner using email, voicemail and video calls.

Email a prisoner: www.emailaprisoner.com - This costs 40p per email and is delivered the next day.

Prison voicemail: For information and costs associated with this service, click here

Video calls: The secure social video calls (video calls) service at this prison is changing. From 14 March 2022, the prison will start using a service called Prison Video . This means that you will need to use the Prison Video app on your phone or tablet device to have a video call with someone in prison. For more information please visit www.prisonersfamilies.org/prison-video or www.gov.uk/guidance/visit-a-prisoner-using-a-video-call

Find out more HERE.

Who do I contact if I need someone to talk to?

If you or your family have any additional needs, medical or otherwise, or just want someone to talk to please contact the Visitors’ Centre. We are here to help.

Our family engagement manager, is also available to help with any issues that you may be finding difficult during this time. Contact:

Tel: 0191 3764232 

Email: lownewtonvc@nepacs.co.uk

We also hold regular Visitors’ Voice peer support 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. Look out for details in the centre or find out more HERE.

Do you run any special family visits?

At present our special family visits are cancelled due to COVUD-19 and the need to reduce the possibility of transmission.

When our Parent/child, extended child visits and special family visits are back up and running we will provide details on our website and social media pages.

For more information about visiting please get in touch with the visitors’ centre on 0191 3764138.

Send us an enquiry