Our response to Covid-19
This page aims to provide contact information for prisoners’ families at all Serco managed prisons in the UK. It will also be continuously updated to provide information on how we are managing Covid-19 including activities that help to safeguard prisoners’ health and wellbeing.
Notice to families
As you will be aware, the outbreak of coronavirus has grown across the country with the new strain of the virus and the government has implemented a period of national restrictions to slow the spread across the country.
Because of this, further changes have been made to the regimes in prisons in the UK.
As a result, visits are currently suspended in the adult estate in England and Scotland in line with the National Lockdown. This includes all six Serco managed prisons.
Our plan, guided by Public Health England, is based at every stage on three core objectives:
- Preservation of life
- Maintaining security, stability and safety
- Providing sufficient capacity
All restrictions to the prison regime will be reviewed regularly, with restrictions either being eased or heightened depending on the current situation.
What safety measures will be in place?
- We will continue to ensure that everyone adheres to the infection control measures such as hand hygiene, use of face coverings and PPE and following social distance requirements.
- We are also ensuring that the environment is kept clean and has good ventilation.
- Our focus will be on the welfare of prisoners during this time. We will continue key work and wellbeing checks and essential work will continue in closed prisons and in the community for open prisons.
- We operate a test and trace system, supported by access to staff swabbing programs. Staff and prisoners at HMP Kilmarnock, are given access to a test if they are symptomatic.
How will prison regime be affected?
- All PE in indoor areas is currently suspended. To supplement this, in-cell workout guides have been provided to prisoners.
- Non-essential work is currently suspended.
- Essential work, which includes kitchen work, NHS, cleaning and Prisoner Advice Line (PAL) will continue but with an increased emphasis on hygiene, social distancing and safety.
- Education will continue to be provided through in-cell learning packs where prisoners can complete their courses remotely.
- Religious services will be carried out remotely via prison TV and radio channels.
Prisoner Friends & Families Contact Methods:
Here is a list of alternative options on how prisoners can be contacted by friends & family.
- Video Visits, using Purple Visits at prisons in England and Unilink at HMP Kilmarnock, Scotland are now available, and friends and families are now able to book video calls. If you have a friend or family member currently residing in HMPs Ashfield, Dovegate, Doncaster, Lowdham Grange or Thameside go to Purple Visits’ website. If they are residing in HMP Kilmarnock in Scotland go to Unilink’s website.
- Email a prisoner - You can send email messages to prisoners using email a prisoner.
- Phone - Prisoners are given 10-minutes of free phone credit each day on top of their prison phone credit, which they can use to call their friends and family.