Social Visits

COVID-19 Update: All adults attending visits are encouraged to access testing in the community the day before a  visit and on the day of a visit. Please be aware the ID requirements for visitors has changed, new details are under the ‘What identification is needed?’ section.

How is a visit booked?

1.    Prisoners will be allowed 1 x 90 minute visit 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.
4.    Staff will confirm and clarify the correct grouping combination with visitors, and a series of questions will be asked ensuring a safe visit for all.
5.    Prisoners who are reverse cohorting cannot book a visit in their first 10 days.

What happens on arrival at the Visitor’s Centre?

Visitors will be asked to confirm the following:

•    Prisoner’s Name and Number
•    Date
•    Visitor(s) Name and DOB

1)    Are you symptom free?*
2)    Have been asked to self-isolate?*
3)    Have you recently been in contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating?*

*If the answer is yes to any of the above questions the visitor will not be allowed entry.

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?

All prisoners, regardless of remand/conviction status and IEP status are entitled to 1 x 90 minute visit per calendar month (this is subject to continual review).

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?

July 2021: Due to a very low demand for visits since re-opening, the visits timetable has been reviewed in order for us to be able to ensure we can offer the highest possible service to all of our prisoners. The revised timetable is set out below:

Session Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
09:45 - 11:45   Mains   Mains   Mains Mains
13:45 - 15:15   VP   VP   VP Mains

 

 

 

Social visits will now take place 4 days per week instead of the usual 7. The 3 remaining days (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) will be for the video visits facility - Purple Visits.

This timetable is effective from Friday 9 July 2021.

Please take note of the below points, which must be adhered to at all times during visits:

  • There will be no physical contact allowed between prisoner and visitor - this includes embracing and kissing at the beginning and end of the visit. A breach of these rules may mean the visit will be terminated

  • Face masks/coverings must be worn at all times

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

  • Local bakery Cooplands provides a refreshment service in the hall - the maximum money permitted per visit is £30 per prisoner.

 

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.

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)

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:

  • 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).

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 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)