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Social Visits

How is a visit booked?

  1. Prisoners will be allowed 2 x 60 minute visits per calendar month

  2. The prisoner will book the visit using the ATM

  3. An automated confirmation message (that a visit is booked) will be sent to the visitor(s) if their mobile number/email address is registered.

What happens on arrival at the Visitor’s Centre?

Visitors will be booked in, ID checked and asked to confirm the following:

  • Prisoner’s Name and Number

  • Visitor(s) Name and DOB

Where to go on arrival?

On arrival visitors should make their way to the Visitors Centre, where staff will assist them with any questions and guide them through the visits procedure. The Visitors Centre provides facilities for visitors to refresh themselves both before and after the visit.

Personal belongings must be put in a locker in the Visitors Centre or left locked in their vehicle. Visitors will need a £1 coin for the locker. This is refundable.

Visitors should remember to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the visit.

Last entry into visits is 15 minutes after the planned start time, if visitors arrive after this entry will be denied.

Frequency and security

How often can someone visit?

2 x 60 minute visit per calendar month

Who can visit?

Can children visit

Children under the age of 18 can only visit if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If the adult accompanying the child is not the parent, they must produce paperwork to prove guardianship.

The parent or legal guardian must produce the child’s birth certificate as proof of identity.

Children must remain under visitor supervision at all times.

Can ex-prisoners visit?

Ex-prisoners can visit subject to security clearance. This will be carried out as part of their registration process.

What days do visits take place?

 

  • Purple visits take place every Monday and Friday

  • Visitor numbers has increased to 3 adults (family & friends)

  • The maximum visits session size is 40 prisoners

  • An identification photograph will be taken of children aged 10+

  • Biometrics (fingerprints) will be taken of children aged 10+

  • No property can be handed in as outside property still remains closed at this time

  • Refreshments are available in the visits hall (visitors can bring a maximum of £30 per table with them to purchase refreshments during the visit)

  • Physical contact, i.e. kiss or embrace, is only permitted at the start and the end of your visit.  The visit may be terminated if this takes place during the session.

What identification is needed?

Making Prison Visits Safer – Visitor ID Requirements

The forms of ID required for social and official visitors to prisons changed on 6 April 2021, these changes come into effect at HMP Doncaster on 18 July 2021. It is important visitors bring the correct ID as entry will be refused if not.  Children under the age of 18 must bring their (original) FULL birth certificate which shows parents’ details. 

Social visitors have the option to present one photographic ID document from List A:

  • Passports

  • Identity cards from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country

  • UK photocard driving licences

  • EU or EEA driving licences

  • NI Electoral identity cards

  • US passport card

  • Proof of age card recognised under PASS with a unique reference number (this includes the Citizen ID card)

  • Armed forces identity card

  • UK biometric residence permit (BRP)

Should they be unable to present an ID document from List A, they may present one ID document from List B, supported by one document from List C.

List B:

  • Home Office travel document (convention travel document, stateless person’s document, one-way document or certificate of travel)

  • Older Person’s bus pass

  • Freedom Pass

  • Proof of age card recognised under PASS without a unique reference number (please refer to List A where a unique reference number is present)

List C:

  • Birth or adoption certificate

  • Education certificate from a regulated and recognised educational institution (such as an NVQ, SQA, GCSE, A level or degree certificate)

  • Rental or purchase agreement for a residential property (signed and dated)

  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate

  • Bank, building society or credit union current account card (on which the claimed identity is shown)

PLEASE NOTE:   ALL IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS MUST BE IN DATE OR YOU WILL BE REFUSED ENTRY.

What security measures will visitors experience?

All visitors are searched, including children.

Security measures could include:

  • Drug dog search
  • Rub down search
  • X-ray portal search
  • Handheld metal detector

Part of the registration process will include a scan of the visitor’s finger and their photo being taken.

Drug dogs patrol the visit area. All visit areas are covered by CCTV. All footage is recorded, stored and retained in accordance with the data protection act.

Appropriate clothing

Failure to comply will result visitors being refused entry to the establishment.

Women:

Tops:

  • T-shirts
  • Shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Jackets/Coats

Bottom half:

  • Jeans
  • Trousers
  • Cropped trousers
  • Knee length shorts
  • Knee length skirt
  • Knee length dress

 

Footwear:

  • Trainers
  • Full Shoes
  • Boots (to the knee)
  • Ballerina pumps


The following restrictions apply:

Tops:

  • No cropped tops
  • No vests
  • No bandeau tops
  • No off shoulder tops
  • No one shoulder tops
  • No low cut tops
  • No halter neck tops
  • No backless tops
  • No football or sports tops with team logos
  • No sheer/see-through blouse
  • No tight tops, including unitards

Bottom half:

  • No multiple pairs of trousers/leggings
  • Strictly no rips/tears/holes
  • No skirts/dresses or shorts above the knees
  • No tight trousers, including unitards

Footwear:

  • No over the knee boots
  • No stilettos (mid/block heels are acceptable)
  • No steel toe caps / Heavy metal work
  • No Flip Flops/open back shoes including sliders
  • No open/peep toe shoes
  • No Backless/Sling back shoes

Accessories:

  • No sunglasses
  • No jewellery that poses a health and safety risk such as chunky/heavy chains (bracelets with protruding or sharp edges)
  • No hats or head wear (unless it can be verified by a member of the pastoral team it is for religious purposes)
  • No items of clothing that may be considered offensive or racist
  • No large buckle belts
  • No Scarfs
  • No Gloves
  • No hair clips with protruding or sharp edges
  • No wristwatches

Men:

Tops:

  • T-shirts
  • Shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Jackets/Coats

Bottom half:

  • Jeans
  • Trousers
  • Cropped trousers
  • Knee length shorts

Footwear:

  • Trainers
  • Full Shoes
  • Boots


The following restrictions apply:

Bottom half:

  • No multiple pairs of trousers/leggings
  • Strictly no rips/tears/holes

Tops:

  • No vests
  • No football or sports tops with team logos

Footwear:

  • No steel toe caps / Heavy metal work
  • No Flip Flops/open back shoes including sliders
  • No peep/open toe shoes
  • No Backless/Sling back shoes

Accessories:

  • No sunglasses
  • No jewellery that poses a health and safety risk (bracelets with protruding or sharp edges)
  • No hats or head wear (unless it can be verified by a member of the pastoral team it is for religious purposes)
  • No items of clothing that may be considered offensive or racist
  • No large buckle belts
  • No Scarfs
  • No Gloves
  • No wristwatches

Children:

The same clothing rules above apply for children under the age of 18 years with some exceptions:

Babies 0-2:

  • Baby bonnet
  • Mittens
  • All in ones
  • Bibs

We provide nappies and baby wipes.

 

What can be taken into a visit?

Under the Offender Management Act 2007 it is illegal to bring into prison a number of items including:

View the Offender Management Act 2007.

Drugs

  • Alcohol
  • Mobile phones (including any part of a mobile phone or charger)
  • Any New Psychoactive Substances (NPS or Legal Highs), including products such as Spice and Black Mamba

If a visitor needs to bring any personal medication in with them, they must ensure they disclose this to staff before the visit.

If visitors are:

  • Found in possession of any banned and unauthorised items
  • Found passing them over to a prisoner
  • Suspected of smuggling drugs or other unauthorised articles

the police will be called and the visitor may be arrested. This could result in a prison sentence or being banned from visiting all prisons.

If prisoners are found to be involved in smuggling drugs and other contraband though visits they will face a wide range of penalties including:

  • Time added to their sentence
  • A reduction in their privileges level
  • Being placed on closed visits (prisoner is behind a glass screen for the visit)

If visitors are concerned about drugs, are being pressured to take banned items into the prison, or are concerned about someone else, they should contact the prison on 01302 760870 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Allowed Items:

A selection of refreshments is available to buy during the visit.

Visitors should bring in to the prison the allowed amount of money.

This is for the sole purpose of purchasing food and drinks within the visits hall. You should not have in your possession more than the allowed amount. If unsure of the amount seek clarity from the visits staff in the outside visits Centre before proceeding to the search points.

All other items should be left in your vehicle or in the lockers provided.

Mother and Baby

The following are the only items allowed, 1 nappy per child, 1 bottle per child, 1 clear drinking cup per child, 1 sealed glass jar of baby food per child, 6 baby wipes per child, 1 dummy per child.

Medication

GT heart spray, Inhaler, Emergency or Essential medication. You should declare these items and make the staff aware when you enter the searching process.

Family First Activities

The family first manager will provide information regarding any item not mentioned above that may be allowed for a single visit or as part of a course in relation to Family First Activities. These items will be approved by the Security department and the Visits staff informed of the approvals.

If you are unsure of what you may bring in to the prison or you have something you wish to be considered speak with the visits staff at the reception area who will provide guidance or seek approval from a manager.

Penalties for taking items that are banned into the prison

Conveyance of Prohibited Items and Other Related Offences

Amendments to the Prison Act came into force in April 2008 which make it a criminal offence for certain items to be used, brought into or taken out of prisons. It is a criminal offence for any person without authority:

i. to bring or throw any of the following items in or out of a prison or to cause another person to do so, to leave any of the following items in any place (in or out of the prison) intending it to come into the possession of a prisoner or to give to a prisoner any of the following items:

  • A controlled drug, an explosive a firearm or other offensive weapon.
    Maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.
     
  • Alcohol, a mobile telephone, a camera or a sound-recording device including watch with recording and camera facilities.
    Maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.
     
  • Tobacco, money, clothing, food, drink, letters, papers, books, tools, IT equipment and associated peripherals. 
    Maximum penalty is a £1000 fine.
     
  • It is an offence to take a photograph or make a sound recording within a prison or convey an official document or photograph or personal file in or out of a prison, or transmit any image, sound or information electronically from within a prison for simultaneous reception outside a prison.
    Maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.

Criminal prosecutions will be pursued against those found to be in deliberate breach of the above provisions. Criminal prosecutions will be pursued against those found to be in breach of the above Prison Act 2008 provisions.

New Psychoactive Substances:

Many of these substances are not legal and anyone found in possession or observed passing these substances will be subject to Criminal Prosecutions being pursued.

Can money and clothes be taken in for a prisoner

Can money be taken in for a prisoner?

Visitors cannot give money to a prisoner during visits but they can send money to a prisoner’s account:

  • Send money free by debit card, you will need the prisoner number and their date of birth. Go to www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money (opens in a new window).

Visitors can bring a maximum of £30 per table with them to purchase refreshments during the visit.

Can clothes be taken in for a prisoner?

No property can be handed in as outside property remains closed at this time. 

Clothing (see list below), footwear and towels may be posted into the prison* for prisoners within the first 30 days of their arrival at HMP Doncaster.  Parcels must be clearly marked with the prisoner’s name and number.

PLEASE NOTE:  THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT FOR A PARCEL IS 15KG, ANYTHING OVER 15KG WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

*Before a parcel can be sent in, the prisoner must submit a General Application to the Reception Manager for authorisation, failure to adhere to this will result in the parcel not being accepted on delivery.

Please be aware, parcels are posted at the sender’s own risk.  HMP Doncaster is not liable for any parcel that fails to arrive therefore sending parcels recorded delivery/special delivery is advised.

Prisoners can have the following items in possession (not per visit):

  • 1 x Suit, Shirt & Tie (handed in on a visit by application ONLY)
  • 2x Prayer Robe/Suit
  • 10x pairs of each (socks/underpants/boxer shorts)
  • 4x vests (no offensive slogans)
  • 3x Pjamas/nightwear
  • 3x shorts (No football/rugby/team shirts or offensive slogans)
  • 1 x Dressing Gown/Bath Robe (no hoods)
  • 1x pair flip flops
  • 1x pair of slippers
  • 3x pair of shoes/trainers (max 2 pairs of trainers, no hook and eyes, no raised euelets, no zips, no metal hooks, no steel toe caps)
  • 1 x jacket or coat (Must not be padded/quilted/double lined, No hoods, No offensive slogans, cannot be black, cannot be leather)
  • 2x belts (Buckles must not be; be solid metal/ have studs / or metal tips, any bigger than 2.5inches square, be shaped like a gun or of an offensive nature)
  • Combination of 9x items lower Garments – Trousers/ Jogging pants/ Tracksuit bottoms/ Jeans (Not camouflage, Not black, Not combat style)
  • 2x towels
  • 2x face cloths
  • Max 15x Upper Garments – Sweatshirts/ Jumpers/ Cardigans/ Shirt/ T-Shirt/ Vests (No Hoods, No offensive slogans, No white shirts, No football/rugby/team shirts)

PLEASE BE AWARE THE PRISON CANNOT ACCEPT PARCELS AT WEEKENDS OR BANK HOLIDAYS