Detailed guide: Low Newton Prison and Young Offender Institution

Ministry Of Justice

July 21
14:04 2020

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them. You can:

You can also contact the Prisoners Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

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Book and plan your visit to Low Newton

New residents are allowed one unbooked reception visit each day in their first 7 days at Newton Hall. Family or friends need to come to the prison visitors centre at one of the set visiting times and say that they are there for a reception visit.

All other visits to Low Newton must be booked 48 hours in advance.

Unconvicted prisoners can have up to 3 visits Monday to Friday and 1 visit on a weekend.

Women who have been convicted can have at least 2 visits each month. This is reviewed each month so they might be able to get more visits.

To book a visit to someone you must be on their visitor list and have the required ID. Residents must submit a visitor request form to security to add people to their list. This must include date of birth for all visitors.

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

It can take time for ID to be checked so you might want to arrive 30 minutes before your visit time.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Low Newton
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 303 0632
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Thursday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Friday: 9:30am to 11:30am (family and child visits only), 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

Family days and play days

Low Newton has family days or play days on the last Friday of every month. These are held from 10:30am to 3pm.

For family days, at least one visitor must be 18 or older. For play days, children can be left for the duration of the visit (agreed in advance).

For dates and to book these visits, call the visitors centre on: 01913 764 232.


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6514
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9:30am to 11:30am, 2:15pm to 3:45pm
  • Wednesday: 9:30am to 11:30am
  • Thursday: 9:30am to 11:30am, 2:15pm to 3:45pm
  • Friday: 2:15pm to 3.45pm (except the last Friday of the month when there are no professional visits)

Getting to Low Newton

Find Low Newton on a map

The closest railway station is Durham. Buses run to Low Newton from North Road, which is a short walk from the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park at the front of the prison but parking is limited during the week. There are 2 spaces for Blue Badge holders. These cannot be booked in advance.

The visitors centre can provide taxi information.

Entering Low Newton

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizens public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

Visitors without the correct ID may be refused entry.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately, or you could be turned away.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of 10 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visits hall.

You will need to leave any valuables in a locker before entering the visitor area.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

On visiting days the Nepacs visitors centre, (outside the prison next to the visitors car park) is open from 12:30pm to 4pm. Visitors centre staff can provide information and support.

It has a snack bar where you can buy light refreshments. There is a childrens play area, a youth room for children aged 8 to 18 years, and a quiet room.

Visitors using wheelchairs need to make their own arrangements to travel from the visitors centre to the prison. There are no extra prison staff available to push wheelchair users. The route to the main visits hall from the visitors centre is ramped to allow access and takes around 4 minutes.

In the main visits hall there is a snack bar and a childrens play area.

Keeping in touch

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident during their time at Low Newton.

Phone calls

Women do not have phones in their rooms so they will always have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take up to a week before they are able to call.

There are phones on all wings of the prison that can be accessed at certain times. The maximum call time is 15 minutes per resident.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.


You can send emails to someone in Low Newton using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident, depending on the rules at Low Newton.


Include the persons name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, contact Low Newton or use the Prisoner Location Service.

All post apart from legal letters will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

Gifts and parcels

People are given a list of approved items that can be sen

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