Detailed guide: Preston Prison

Ministry Of Justice

November 19
12:15 2019

Book and plan your visit to Preston Prison

To visit someone in Preston Prison you must book your visit in advance and have the required ID with you when you go.

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

The number of visits a resident can have varies. You can check this with Preston Prison.

Contact Preston Prison if you have any questions about visiting.

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 Preston Prison
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online at least 3 days in advance.

You can also book by telephone at least 24 hours in advance.

Booking line: 01772 444 888
Monday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm
Friday, 9am to 3pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are from 2pm to 4pm daily.


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01772 444 777
Monday to Thursday, 9am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 4pm
Friday, 9am to 12:30pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Wednesday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Thursday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Friday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 3:45pm

Getting to Preston Prison

Find Preston Prison on a map

Preston Prison is about a mile from Preston station and half a mile from the bus station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is no visitor parking at the prison. Visitors need to find their own parking.

Entering Preston Prison

You should arrive at the prison 30 minutes before your visit.

All visitors must bring the required ID.

Visitors aged 18 or over should have photo ID, such as:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • student union membership card
  • CitizenCard (UK national ID card)
  • European Community identity card

Children under 18 without photo ID should bring their birth certificate, or red book for babies who havent been registered yet.

Staff may accept expired ID if they can clearly identify you.

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

Preston Prison has a strict dress code policy which means visitors should dress sensibly. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses, ripped jeans, flip-flops or headwear other than that worn for religious reasons. Additionally, you cannot wear sports team clothing or anything with offensive patterns or slogans.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of 20 to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Preston Prison. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

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

There is a snack bar in the visiting hall serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks.

Family days

Preston holds monthly family days giving residents more time to spend time with their children in a more relaxed setting.

Residents can apply to the family liaison officer for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Preston Prison

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

Phone calls

Residents 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 a few days before they are able to call.

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 Preston Prison using the Email a Prisoner service.

You are also able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident.


You can write at any time.

Include the persons name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, contact Preston Prison.

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.

You can also send:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to The Governor and include the residents name and prison number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Friends and family can send books to residents. These must be ordered and delivered directly to Preston from recognised high street or online shops such as WHSmith and Amazon.

Make sure to include the persons name and prison number on the order. They will be opened and checked by officers.

Its not possible to send any other items or property by post and such parcels will be returned. You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Life at Preston Prison

Preston Prison is committed to reducing reoffending by providing men with a structured and educational environment and preparing them for release.

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Preston Prison also trains residents to be listeners for those who need support during difficult times.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Preston Prison, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how theyre feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.

They will get to speak to someone again on their second night so they have another chance to ask questions.


Each person who arrives at Preston Prison gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called interventions), such as managing difficult emotions

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.


Over 700 men live at Preston Prison in a mixture of single and shared rooms.

There are 3 gym areas offering a range of activities for residents of all physical abilities. They also have access to a well-stocked library.

Education and work

All residents have access to classroom learning provided by The Manchester College. Subjects include maths, English, IT, graphic design, digital imagi

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