Detailed guide: Low Newton Prison and Young Offender Institution

Ministry Of Justice

August 5
12:30 2020

HMP Low Newton is now offering limited visits for family and friends.

To ensure the safety of visitors, residents and staff, there are strict guidelines which must be followed during you visit.

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

Low Newton is currently operating a limited visits schedule for family and friends. You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Telephone booking line: 0300 303 0632
The booking line is open: Monday to Friday: 9.15am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 2:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Tuesday-Thursday: 10am to 11am and 2:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 2:30pm to 3:30pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

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.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

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 sent to them as gifts from a catalogue or the on-site shop. Contact Low Newton for more information on what is allowed.

Make sure to include the persons name and prison number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Low Newton

Low Newton is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where women can plan for a positive future and learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Low Newton has a right to feel safe. The staff at Low Newton are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

Safeguarding processes are overseen by the County Durham Safeguarding Adults Inter-agency Partnership for residents who live in County Durham. For other areas of Cumbria, Northumberland and Cleveland, different local partners may be used.

Low Newton trains prisoners to be listeners for those who need support during

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