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Detailed guide: Usk Prison

Ministry Of Justice

September 4
14:09 2020

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Book and plan your visit to Usk

Usk is now offering limited visits for family and friends in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

To visit someone in Usk you must:

  • be on that persons visitor list
  • book your visit in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

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

Residents can have 2 visits a month or 3 on enhanced behaviour.

Contact Usk 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 Usk
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Usk is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 01291 671 730

The booking line is open: Monday to Friday 9am to 11am and 2pm to 4pm

Visiting Times:Tuesday to Sunday 1:30pm to 4pm

Book legal visits by telephone.

Booking lines:
01291 671 730
Monday to Friday, 9am to 11am and 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 9am to midday

Getting to Usk

Find Usk on a map

The closest railway stations are Abergavenny to the north and Pontypool & New Inn, Cwmbran and Newport to the south. There is a bus service from Newport to Usk. You will need to take a taxi from other stations.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a free car park opposite the prison entrance, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Usk

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

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. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans. Ask at the visitors centre if you have questions about appropriate dress.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Usk. 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 no visitors centre at Usk.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit but water is provided.

Family days

Family days are not available at the moment.

Usk holds 6 family days a year giving residents time to spend time with their children in a more relaxed setting.

Residents can apply for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Usk

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

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 during phone hours, which are 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4:45pm on weekends. This list is approved by security and any new names must be checked and cleared before they are added.

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.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Usk 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 Usk.

Letters

You can write at any time.

Include the persons name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Usk.

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 and cheques. These should be made payable to NOMS Agency and include the residents name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

People in Usk are given a facilities list which details items that can be sent to residents by post. Contact Usk for more information on whats allowed.

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

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Usk

Usk is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Usk 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 Gwent-wide Adult Safeguarding Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Usk, 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.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Usk 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.

Accommodation

Around 280 men live at Usk. Most live in shared rooms across the 3 main wings, called A, B and C. Men on the enhanced behaviour level can apply to live in the Comber Unit, which is a separate dormitory style unit. There are TVs in all rooms.

There are indoor and outdoor gym facilities offering a range of activities for residents of all physical abilities.

Usk has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities, ranging from basic skills, such as literacy, numeracy, computing skills and employability, to higher learning and qualifications. The programme also includes training in a variety of trades and professions, including:

  • health and safety
  • food safety
  • wellbeing
  • business studies
  • woodcraft
  • bricklaying

Work

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