Detailed guide: Wakefield Prison

Ministry Of Justice

August 12
20:36 2020

Book and plan your visit to Wakefield

Visits at Wakefield 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.

For advice and support, the Prisoners Families Helpline is available on 0808 808 2003.

Keep in touch with someone at Wakefield

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

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 Wakefield 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 Wakefield.


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 Wakefield.

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

Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to The Governor and include the residents full name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

People in Wakefield can buy a range of items, including fresh produce, from the prison shop.

Family and friends can give books to residents. These can either be sent to the prison or handed in at visits.

Life at Wakefield

Wakefield 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 Wakefield has a right to feel safe. The prison works closely with Wakefield and District Safeguarding Adults Board who oversee the safeguarding processes and are advised by the Safeguarding Prison Sub Group.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Wakefield, 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. If it is likely to be late, prison staff will contact the family member earlier in the day to check they are happy to be contacted.

New residents will get to speak to someone who will check how theyre feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs. Any issues that are raised will be looked into and resolved.


Each person who arrives at Wakefield gets an induction that can last up to 2 weeks. Everyone is given an induction booklet that schedules the induction activities they need to attend. 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.

New residents will also get to meet representatives from the wing they will be moving to. These include insiders and prison listeners who provide support and advice.


Up to 750 men live at Wakefield, across 4 units, each with up to 180 men in single rooms.

Each man gets their own room. TVs are available to men on standard and enhanced behaviour levels.

Wakefield is dedicated to making prisons safer and equal. It also runs a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents. The kitchen caters for religious and medical diets.

Residents have regular access to the gym.

Education and work

Residents have access to many learning opportunities provided by Milton Keynes College. These range from basic skills, such as English and maths, to distance learning with the Open University. Accredited courses are available in hospitality, catering and industrial cleaning.

Men can take jobs throughout the prison, in the kitchens, in textiles, woodwork and the library. They can also work in the braille shop, converting books to braille.

Wakefield also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Temporary release

Some Wakefield Prison residents may qualify for release on temporary licence (ROTL).

Organisations Wakefield works with

Toe By Toe encourages residents to help others improve their reading and literacy.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Wakefield

You can get family support from Partners of Prisoners (POPS).

You can also call:

Telephone: 01924 612 165 or 0161 702 1000
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Wakefield. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Wakefield in response to independent inspections.

Contact Wakefield

Governor: Tom Wheatley

Telephone (24 hours): 01924 612 000
Fax: 01924 612 001
Find out about call charges


Follow Wakefield on Twitter


HMP Wakefield
5 Love Lane
West Yorkshire

See map

Safety concerns

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Wakefield, call the switchboard and ask to speak to the Safer Prisons department or the duty governor.

In an emergency, ask for the control room. They will pass on your concerns to the orderly officer immediately.

Telephone: 01924 612 000

You can also call the Safer Prisons Family Helpline and leave a message. It is monitored from 8am to 5pm and once after midnight.

Telephone: 0800 389 1108

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 12 August 2020 +show all updates

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