HMP_Northumberland_Visitors_CentreHMP Northumberland Visitor Centre

Address:

HMP Northumberland,
Acklington,
Morpeth,
Northumberland.
NE65 9XG

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

Contact details

Visitors’ centre: 01670 383736 from 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday or contact the team leader on 07726 611175 between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday.
Visitors’ centre email: use contact form to email HERE 
Prison: 01670 383100 
Visits booking line: Visits are now booked by prisoners and it is their responsibility to inform their visitors of when they are.

Visits restart at HMP Northumberland - from 22 July 2020

Social Visits at HMP Northumberland returned on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 in line with national guidelines and authority granted by HMPPS. Social visits will run with a reduced capacity, allowing the prison to operate safely and comply with latest public health advice on social distancing measures and regulations around the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) / face coverings.

When can I visit?

Social visits will operate Monday to Friday afternoons and can be booked as normal by the resident. These are the new allocated sessions:

  • Monday: HB1-4, G/Way and CSU Main.
  • Tuesday: HB5,7 and 8
  • Wednesday: HB10-12 CSU VP.
  • Thursday: HB13-14.
  • Friday: HB9,16 and 6.

Please note that the residents allocated weekly session will rotate to ensure fair access to all residents i.e. If the allocated visits session is listed as a Monday above, the following week it will move one day to a Tuesday etc. This will be automatically adjusted for the resident to book internally. The resident must book the visit 48 hours prior to your visit so we can then contact you to explain the new Covid 19 visit procedures.

How often can I visit?

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month which will be one hour in duration. The visit can be booked in one of the 2 x 1-hour visits sessions available:

1345 – 1445 hours

1515 – 1615 hours

Residents subject to shielding will allocated a closed visit booth.

Who can visit?

Visits will only be allowed by people who are symptom free, who have not been asked to self-isolate and who have not recently come into contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating.

Up to 3 close family members per booking that must be from the same household.

Please note that there will be no physical contact allowed on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kisses)

After each 1 hour visit the visitors will be asked to leave the hall.

Who cannot have a visit?

Symptomatic residents under isolation

New residents (within the first 14 days) and those who are returning from external hospital who are required to spend 14 days isolated.

Face coverings

All visitors aged over 11 years will be required to wear face coverings on arrival at the visitors centre and throughout the visit. Searches will take place at the prison gate, as usual, including the face covering.

Facilities

Unfortunately, there will be no indoor play areas or refreshments available in order to help the prison further reduce visitor movement in support of social distancing. No property may be brought to the visits hall or handed in by visitors.

We all understand how important social visits are to you and the impact of these having been suspended during the critical Covid-19 period over recent weeks. We acknowledge how the new ways of operating during social visits will feel different and may be difficult to adjust to. Please be patient, courteous and understanding of the new ways of working. Staff at HMP Northumberland and Nepacs will do their very best to try to make the visit experience as enjoyable as it can be.

When can I visit?

Social visits will operate Monday to Friday afternoons and can be booked as normal by the resident, however here are the new allocated sessions:

  • Monday: HB1-4, G/Way and CSU Main.
  • Tuesday: HB5,7 and 8
  • Wednesday: HB10-12 CSU VP.
  • Thursday: HB13-14.
  • Friday: HB9,16 and 6.

Please note that the residents allocated weekly session will rotate to ensure fair access to all residents i.e. If the allocated visits session is listed as a Monday above, the following week it will move one day to a Tuesday etc. This will be automatically adjusted for the resident to book internally.

The resident must book the visit 48 hours prior to your visit so the prison can contact you to explain the new Covid 19 visit procedures.

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month which will be one hour in duration. The visit can be booked in one of the 2 x 1-hour visits sessions available:

  • 1.45pm – 2.45pm 
  • 3.15pm – 4.15pm 

Residents subject to shielding will allocated a closed visit booth. 

Please note that there will be no physical contact allowed on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kisses) at present due to social distancing guidelines.

After each 1 hour visit the visitors will be asked to leave the hall.

How can I book a visit?

Prisoners are responsible for booking their own visits on kiosks in their House Blocks and for informing their visitors of when this visit is. 

Visitors will be contacted by a member of the Nepacs team or prison staff to explain the visit procedure and requirements to meet social distancing guidelines.

Where can I wait when I arrive for my visit?

All visitors must book in at the Visitors’ Centre prior to their visit and must arrive in good time to be able to do this.

The centre is open:

- Monday to Friday from 1.15pm to 4.15pm 

- Saturday/Sunday from 8.30am to 12.00pm and 12.45pm to 4.15pm

On your first visit staff will take your fingerprints and photo for the computer system (known as biometrics) which will then be used every time you visit to confirm your identity. Identification is still required for every visitor including children.
Prison staff will check your VO. Visitors who do not bring identification will not be allowed in.

The Nepacs Visitors' Centre has a range of information and facilities for visitors, including:

  • Information boards / leaflets / signposting

  • Disabled access and parking to rear of building

  • Disabled toilet facilities

  • Light refreshments available in the Centre - currently closed and not available

  • Lockers £1 deposit. Nepacs takes no responsibility for items left in lockers

  • Baby change room

  • Quiet room

  • Play area for children (parents / carers are responsible for children at all times) - currently closed

  • Free parking for visitors.

Nepacs also provides a tea bar within the visits’ hall where you can buy light refreshments for yourself and the person you are visiting- although this is currently closed due to COVID-19.

We have a quiet room available in the Visitors’ Centre. If you require a place to pray or need some privacy please speak to a member of staff. If you want to talk in private please do ask.

Please inform the visitors’ centre if you are bringing a wheelchair into HMP Northumberland.

How can I get there?

HMP Northumberland is approximately 12 miles north of Morpeth. We can give directions over the phone or post out directions and travel information. There is ample car parking in the visitors' car park. There are a small number of disabled spaces.

Buses - Service X18 runs hourly from Newcastle Haymarket and stops at the turning circle at the top of the road. Timetables are available in the Visitors' Centre.

What facilities are there for children?

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

There is a supervised play area within the visits hall (parent / carer responsible for children at all times) and a play area within the visitors’ centre.

Do you run any special family visits?

Father/child and special family visits are available at HMP Northumberland. For more information ask in the visitors’ centre for details. 

Please note these visits are not currently available due to COVID-19.

What ID documents will I need?

ID is required for all visitors including children for every visit.

Acceptable ID includes photographic documents such as a passport, photocard driving licence, travel pass or company ID pass. Alternatively, a combination of non-photo ID such as utility bills, cheque book, ‘proof of age’ card etc, may be acceptable, at the discretion of the senior officer.

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.

Ask in the visitors’ centre for a list of suitable ID. 

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 - which will be one hour in duration. The visit can be booked in one of the 2 x 1-hour visits sessions available:


1345 – 1445 hours
1515 – 1615 hours

How many people are allowed on each visit?

Who cannot have a visit? 
- Symptomatic residents under isolation
- New residents (within the first 14 days) and those who are returning from external hospital who are required to spend 14 days isolated.

Who can visit? 

Visits will only be allowed by people who are symptom free, who have not been asked to self-isolate and who have not recently come into contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating.

Up to 3 close family members per booking that must be from the same household.

Please note, visitors will have their temperature checked before entering the visitors centre and again before entering the prison, where all visitors will also be searched (as you would normally).

Face Coverings 
All visitors aged over 11 years will be required to wear face coverings on arrival at the visitors centre and throughout the visit.

What can I take into the visit?

Visitors can take in:

  • £20.00 (in coins) per visiting order for use in the tea bar

  • Locker key

  • Prescribed medication.

Lockers are available for a £1 deposit, as you can’t take personal possessions into the prison. 

Visitors can take in the following for babies or toddlers:

  • 2 nappies

  • Small pack of wipes

  • Sealed carton milk / jar baby food / juice

  • Empty bottle / spoon / dummy / bib / baby grow

  • High chairs and baby chairs available in the visits hall 

What happens when it is time to go over to the prison?

Once your number is called staff hand you a VO and you go across to the main prison gate, through an external door called ‘Visitors’ Entrance’. Staff will check your fingerprints and your ID. You then go through security doors and will be searched. You will be searched by officers of either sex, unless you request to be searched by someone of the same sex.      

The visits room officers will allocate you a table and will supervise visits from various points around the room. CCTV is in operation. Physical contact between the prisoner and his visitors is usually allowed briefly at the beginning and end of the visit. The prisoner should remain seated at all other times.

Eating together is an important part of the visit. Our tea-bar sells sandwiches, crisps, hot and cold drinks, and confectionery.

Children can move between their table and the play area, playing in sight of their parents. Although children remain the responsibility of their parent/guardian, the play area is usually attended by our staff or volunteers. We have a good selection of toys and art materials available. 

Toilet facilities are available and search procedures may be repeated after the use of these facilities.

Can I take anything for the person I am visiting?

Books can be brought in for a prisoner IF the prisoner has put in an application for the books and it has been approved.  Books can then be brought in wrapped with the prisoner's name and number on and handed in on your visit.

No other items can be brought in. Clothes are only allowed under special circumstances and then with approval of the Governor, such as clothes to attend a funeral or because of medical conditions.

What items can I send to the prisoner?

You can send in plain lined paper, envelopes and postal orders. However, no stamps.

How can I send money to the prisoner?

If you wish to send money to a prisoner, you can send a postal order (PO) made payable to ‘The Director’ with the prisoner’s name, number, prison site, sender’s name and address on the back. 

Send to: HMP Northumberland, Acklington, Morpeth, Northumberland NE65 9XG

The prisoner is able to view this on his account on the Kiosk.

Prisoners can send out postal orders to approved persons only. They should ask their personal officer about this.

Secure payments

This service enables the sender to deposit monies directly into the prisoner’s bank account so funds can be transferred quickly. This is a cheaper option than postal orders, cheques or cash.

Visit: www.secure.payment-services.com or tel +44 (0)3333 706550.

Prisoner’s weekly spending money

Money you send in will go into the prisoner’s suspense account. The following amounts will be transferred to their spend account each week.

Basic - £4.00

Standard - £15.50

Enhanced - £25.50

How can I write to 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.

You can also contact the prisoner using email.

  • Prison Technology Services are offering a new service where people can receive emails from family, friends, legals and probation services.       

Email a prisoner: www.emailaprisoner.com Find out more HERE.

Information and leaflets are available in the visitors’ centre.

We now have a “post box” in the Visitor Centre where you are able to leave cards, letters etc so you can save on postage costs. The box is emptied every week day and letters taken to the prison.

Can he phone or write to me?

The prisoner is able to telephone his family/friends using in cell telephones, if he has bought phone credit and had your telephone number cleared with security. 

They are also able to write cards or letters, or send an email (see 'How can I write to or contact the prisoner?' above).

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

If you have any concerns about a prisoner, please speak to a prison officer, any staff or volunteers in the visitors’ centre or contact the safer custody / family links phone line: 01670 382 150.

Can I get help with the cost of visiting?

Visitors on certain benefits or a low income may qualify for help with travel costs through the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme. Application packs are available at the visitors’ centre.

You can also get in touch with them Assisted Prison Visits Scheme direct on:

03000 632 100 (open 10.15am to 11.45am and 2.15pm to 3.45pm Monday to Friday)

Email: assisted.prison.visits@hmps.gsi.gov.uk or visit www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk

Find out more HERE.

What can I do if visits are not possible?

We would encourage you to try and stay in touch with your loved ones in whatever way you can.  Phone calls and letters are important. 

Alternatively, organisations such as New Bridge have volunteers who become prison visitors; ask your CRC/probation officer about this.

Prison Technology Services are offering a new service where people can receive emails from family, friends, legals and probation services.       

Go to: www.emailaprisoner.com  Leaflets are available in the visitors’ centre.

For more information about visiting please get in touch with the visitors’ centre on 01670 383736.

Send us an enquiry