Social Visits

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?

The number of social visits a prisoner can have depends on their level in the Incentives & Earned Privilege Scheme. This level depends on their behaviour and commitment to rehabilitation.

Visitors can help improve the quality of visits by encouraging prisoners to conduct themselves responsibly and earn more and longer visits each week.

Prisoner entitlements Convicted:

Basic                3 x 60 minute visits per month, including one visit per weekend per prisoner

Standard          4 x 60 minute visits per month, including one visit per weekend per prisoner

Enhanced        6 x 60 minute visits per month, including one visit per weekend per prisoner

Prisoner entitlements Remand:

Basic                3 x 60 minute visits per week, including one on the weekend

Standard          3 x 60 minute visits per week, including one on the weekend

Enhanced        3 x 60 minute visits per week, including one on the weekend

What identification is needed?

All visitors must provide the correct identification (ID) every time they visit.

Accepted forms of identification for adult visitors:

  • Passport, including foreign passports where the photograph is still recognisable (maximum 5 years out of date)
  • Valid Driving Licence – photo bearing
  • Senior Citizens public transport pass – photo bearing (Freedom pass)
  • Annual public transport season ticket – photo bearing (must be in date)
  • Employers ID/ Student card which must show; name of visitor, employers/educational establishment name, photograph/signature of bearer which can be compared to the visitor.
  • European ID card – photo bearing
  • Benefits documentationa

Any person with an electronic tag fitted must produce their papers on every visit.

If the visitor is unable to provide any of the above items, a combination of two of the following may be accepted for adult visitors:

  • Young person’s proof of age card (Zip oyster cards accepted)
  • Babies Red book (Pre-registration red book can only be used for the first 6 weeks)
  • Birth certificate (short version)
  • Bill/bank statement with address that matches visitors details (dated within 3 Months)
  • Tax credits
  • Old style driving licence
  • Foreign Identity or Residence card
  • Library Card
  • Marriage certificate
  • Valid cheque book or credit/debit card (count as one do not accept two)
  • Trade Union/National Students Union card
  • Rent Book
  • ID card from a recognised prison visitors organisation (e g New Bridge) the name on the card may differ from that on the VO, but provided staff have no reason to doubt their identity then this will be accepted.

A full birth certificate is required for all under 18’s (with parent details) for every visit.

If a person’s identity is in doubt they could be refused entry into the prison.

All forms of identification must be original. Copies will not be accepted.

Any visitor who fails to provide acceptable I.D or refuses search procedures will be refused entry into the prison.

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 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

Bottom half:

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

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 above the knee including pockets

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:

  • From Wednesday 27 May you will be able to 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).
  • As a cheque (subject to 10 working days for clearance)
  • As a postal order

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to “Serco Limited” with the senders name and address clearly written on the back of the cheque or postal order, along with the prisoners name and number.

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?

Clothing, footwear and towels may only be brought in for prisoners within the first 30 days of their arrival at HMP & YOI Doncaster.

To do this the visitor must book a visit on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday during the following times:

  • 9.15am to 11.45am
  • 1-15pm to 4.00pm

Property can only be handed in on a booked visit, no property will be accepted if there is no associated visit booked.

We advise to arrive as early as possible when handing in property as there are often queues because items are searched and logged on to the prisoners’ property card.

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)