Garth prison visiting information

Social visits

Tues: 14:00 - 15:45
Wed: 14:00 - 15:45
Thu: 14:00 - 15:45
Sat: 14:00 - 15:45
Sun: 14:00 - 15:45

Staff will request visitors to prepare to end their visit session at 15:45hrs and we will always provide the statutory 1hr visiting period as a minimum, with the last visitor entry at 15:00hrs.

Visits Booking

Visits can be booked by telephone at least 48hrs in advance using the Visits booking line (01772-443503) This line is operated from Monday to Thursday (09.00hrs-12.00hrs and 14.30hrs-16.00hrs) Friday (09.00hrs-12.00hrs) Consideration will be given in relation to the line being closed on bank holidays and religious festivals; notice of this will be published in the visits hall.  A maximum of three adults will be allowed, plus 3 children and in accordance with the current child protection policy.

Visitors must arrive between 13.30hrs and 14.45hrs. Further information is contained with the Visiting Order.

POP’s run visitors centre

HMP Garths visitors centre is open Tuesday through to Thursday from 11:30 – 16:30 and Saturday & Sunday 11:30 – 16:30 so visitors can relax and take refreshments prior to their visit.  The centre provides snacks and hot/cold refreshments. Toilet and baby changing facilities are available.

The POP’s staff will also provide information regarding the Visiting process at Garth to visitors and will signpost visitors to available support within the community.

Novus Run Canteen within the visits Hall

Novus provides high quality offender education, training and employability services, underpinned by functional English and Maths, and a path to a crime-free future. They support over 65,000 offenders per year in the Male and Female Estate in more than 100 establishments in the North East, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, North West, London and Kent and Sussex.

A large proportion of our learning and skills provision is delivered through the OLASS contract (Offender Leaning and Skills Service). They work in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service and the Skills Funding Agency to develop a personalised curriculum offer to meet the local needs of offenders, regional learning and skills strategies and national labour market information, as well as key Government policies and strategies.

From September 2017, visitors have be able to purchase confectionary from the cafe for prisoners to take back to their wings after their visit is finished.

  • Maximum of a £10.00 limit for the purchase for Enhanced IEP Prisoners
  • Maximum of a £5.00 limit for the purchase for Standard IEP Prisoners
  • Basic IEP Prisoner will not be able to purchase Confectionary
  • Chocolate, sweets, crisps, drinks, sandwiches and cakes will be available.
  • Visitors will purchase the items during the visits session.
  • The items selected will be placed in a clear bag behind the counter by shop staff at the time of the purchase.
  • Each clear plastic bag will be sealed at the time of the purchase and labelled with the prisoner’s name and number.

The sealed bags will be handed out by the visits officers at the end of the session, as prisoners leave the visits hall.  They should not be opened until back on the wing.

Lockers will be provided for visitors to store items not allowed in the visits room.  A confidential telephone number will be provided to allow visitors to report bullying and trafficking.  Refreshments will be available from the kiosk throughout the duration of visits.

Visitor recognition system

Bio Metrics & Search Procedures

HMP Garth runs a Bio Metric System within the visits complex. Bio Metrics ensures the establishment maintains its security whilst providing a good quality visits in a relaxed environment and making a significant contribution to the wellbeing and attitude of prisoners.

All visitors will be added onto the biometrics system prior to any visit

On entering the prison visitors will be subject to biometric verification (with the exception of visitors under the age of 18).

Visitors will make their way to the visits complex where, prior to entering the visits hall, where their belongings, including all metal items, will be put through an x-ray machine and they will walk through a metal detection portal, searched with a hand held metal detector and be subject to a Level A rub down search.

These procedures are conducted in line with national searching procedures and are a requirement of entry to the prison. Any visitor refusing to be searched will not be permitted entry to the visits hall. Visitors with pace makers/ electronic medical aids should notify the gate operative first. Archway portals are designed not to interfere with such devices, however visitors should not linger inside the archway portal for longer than 10 seconds to reduce any chance of interference. Staff should be mindful not to linger over such devises with the hand held metal detector, if staff/ visitors have any concerns they must direct these to an operational manager.

They may be searched by a passive drug detection dog. This is conducted in line with national procedures and visitors refusing to be searched will not be permitted entry to the visits hall. If any visitors are nervous of dogs they must make the dog handler aware of this; they are used to working with people who are anxious around dogs and will make the experience as comfortable as possible.

All visitors that refuse to be searched will be denied entry. Visitors that attempt to frustrate a search in any form may also be denied entry. Visitors that refuse an entry search may face a future ban or be reported to the Bar Council/Law Society as appropriate.

Dress Code

Visitors must dress in a manner consistent with providing a decent visiting environment for families and meeting security objectives.

To assist in helping us achieve this can we ask that visitors dress in a manner consistent with providing a decent visiting environment for families and help to meet security objectives.

Unauthorised Dress code for adults and children visitors.

  • No see through, revealing clothing or crop tops which reveal the stomach
  • Skirts and dresses must be no higher than just above the knee
  • Woman must ensure their top garment covers their cleavage
  • No clothing bearing slogans that are deemed racist, insulting or derogatory
  • No uniforms (except children in school uniform and police officers on a legal visit)
  • Jewellery is best kept to a minimum
  • No chains that resemble key chains
  • All clothing must be worn as intended to be worn
  • No football slogan clothing
  • Headwear of any sort, (Unless appropriate headwear worn for religious purposes)
  • No sunglasses (Unless prescription)
  • No florescent tops E.g. Hi Vis
  • No ripped or damaged clothing
  • Clothing that represents a gang or gang affiliation
  • Steel toe cap footwear, football boots or similar footwear are not allowed
  • No heelies
  • Only one pair of trousers to be worn at any one time
  • Trousers with multiple pockets i.e with more than two front & two back pockets
  • Jackets or open fronted tops, this includes cardigans and full front zippered tops
  • Shorts
  • Flip Flops including sliders

Authorised Dress code for adults and children visitors.

  • Hats, scarves and gloves must be removed when in the hall (unless religious headwear)
  • Belts can be worn but the buckle can be no bigger than 2 inches Belts should be of plain design
  • Hairdressings i.e. hair clips, slides, butterfly clips (visitors may be asked to remove these if indicated by the hand held metal detector/ portal)
  • Boots are authorised, however must be below the knee

Items allowed

Only the following items are permitted to be brought into the establishment by social visitors.

  • £30 per adult per visit is allowed.
  • Personal clothing as worn, in line with the dress code.
  • Essential medication or medical aids. These will be placed in a sealed bag on entry to the prison and must be left with the Officer I/C visits and used as required.
  • One dummy, one empty feeding bottle and up to two nappies per baby. Nappies must be placed into a sealed bag. There are facilities to dispose of soiled nappies within the toilets in the visits complex.
  • Locker key from the Visitors Centre
  • No other items are permitted within the visits hall without written permission from the visits manager.

Under the provision of the Offender Management Act 2007 it is a criminal offence to bring the following items into the establishment without the appropriate prior authorisation.

  • A controlled drug (as defined for the purposes of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971)
  • An explosive
  • Any firearm or ammunition (as defined in section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968)
  • Any other offensive weapon (as defined in section 1(9) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984)
  • Alcohol (as defined for the purposes of the Licensing Act 2003)
  • A mobile telephone or any constituent part
  • A camera, including any device by means of which a photograph can be produced, or any constituent part.
  • A sound recording device or any constituent part
  • Tobacco
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Letters, papers and books (with the exception of homework visits, requires prior authorisation)
  • Tools
  • Information technology equipment
  • USB sticks/ memory cards

Bringing these items into the establishment can result in a visitor being prohibited from entering the establishment and being placed on closed visits and, if convicted of an offence can carry penalties of fines up to £1000 and terms of imprisonment up to ten years or an unlimited fine.

Under the provision of the Prison Act 1952 it remains a criminal offence to convey a restricted document out of a prison. The act defines these as including

  • photographs or sound recordings taken/made inside the prison;
  • personal records of prisoner (serving or past) or staff personal records;
  • information relating to an identified or identifiable individual (including families of prisoners or staff) if the disclosure of that information might prejudicially affect the interests of that individual;
  • Information relating to any matter connected with the prison if the disclosure of that information might prejudicially affect the security or operation of the prison.

Conveying a restricted document out of the establishment may result in a visitor being prohibited from entering the establishment or placed on closed visits and if convicted of an offence, can result in a penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment, a fine or both.

Number and Ages of Visitors:

Up to three adults, together with a Max of any 3 accompanying children, are allowed at each visit.

Everyone over the age of 18 is classed as an adult and every under the age of 18 is classed as a child.  All children not on the biometric system (12 months and older) will have to wear a prison visiting wrist band throughout the visit. The wrist band will be placed on the visitor in the visits centre and removed by OSG’s in directions at the end of the visits session. Any child not wearing a wrist band will not be allowed access in to the establishment.

Children Visiting

The overriding factor in allowing any child to visit is whether such contact would be in that child’s best interests. The Governor has the discretion to prevent a visit by any person under 18 years of age if it is considered that such a visit would or could potentially place the child's safety at risk. All children and young persons under 18 years of age must be named on the visiting order, giving their age and date of birth.

Subject to a thorough assessment of risk in which the views of all parties - including those of the parents or guardians of the visitor - are taken into consideration, the Governor has the discretion to allow an unaccompanied visit from any person aged 16 or 17.

Prisoners that wish to receive a visit from a young person of 16 or 17 years of age, must write an application to the Visits Governor, stating the reason for the unaccompanied visit, along with the young person’s address and contact telephone number, as well as the address and contact telephone number of the young person’s parents/guardians or mother, if you are the young person’s father.

Should any child be left unaccompanied by their carer outside of the establishment either in the open or left in a car, a prompt check will be made to see if the carer is either on the premises or in the vicinity. If s/he cannot be found the Police/Social Services will be notified immediately.

Children that have been left unattended, will initially be taken in to the care of the Visitor’s Centre staff until the arrival of the police/social service. Children will be released to carers if they come to collect children from the Visitor’s Centre, but a written statement, along with any CCTV evidence will be handed over to the police or social services on their arrival.

Any member of staff in the visits facility area who has justifiable grounds for believing that a child is being abused either inside or outside of the establishment will report their concerns to the manager in charge of visits who, in conjunction with the Duty Governor, will decide upon the most appropriate course of action. Such action may include curtailing the visit if appropriate and/or contact the police and social services.

Visitors with Disabilities

Visitors/Prisoners with a hearing impairment should advise the Visits Department in advance of the visit so that arrangements can be made, wherever possible, to hold the visit in a quieter section of the hall.

Visitors/Prisoners with sight-impairment should contact the Visits Department in advance of the visit so that arrangements may be made to allocate a table that is close to the visitor or prisoner control desks, as appropriate.

Guide Dog Entry

If a visually impaired person with a Guide Dog attends for a visit the following procedure will be adhered to:

  • If the visually impaired person attends for a visit with a sighted person then the Guide Dog will NOT be permitted access to the establishment.
  • If the visually impaired visitor attends on their own for a visit then the following procedure applies:
  • Whilst the visually impaired visitor is in the Visitors Centre with their Guide Dog, the Senior Officer in charge of Visits MUST be informed of the Guide Dog needing to enter the establishment.
  • Permission MUST be sought from the Duty Governor for the dog to enter the establishment. The prison Dog Handler Officer will bring the Guide Dog into the establishment and take the Guide Dog through the same search process as the establishment working dogs go through.
  • Upon completion of a satisfactory search, the prison Dog Handler will hand the Guide Dog back to the visually impaired visitor. The visit will then take place.
  • The visually impaired visitor will go through the same booking and search process as all other visitors.

Wheelchair users are welcome but there may be a delay in searching of visitor’s own wheelchairs as it can be time consuming, so please allow extra time. An assessment will then be made by the I/C Visits of the arrangements, which may need to be put in place to enable the visitor to be admitted to the prison. A helper or assistant must accompany all visitors who are likely to need physical assistance of any kind throughout the duration of the visit.

Social Visits by Former Prisoners

An ex-prisoner will not normally be refused permission to visit solely on the grounds that he or she has been in custody, though arrangements are in place for visits from people under licence and or wearing a ‘tag’. Should a prisoner wish to receive a visit from a person who is serving a portion of a custodial sentence under licence in the community a written application should be made by the prisoner to the Visits Governor It will then be at the discretion of the Governor as to whether the visit should go ahead. During this process the views of the supervising probation officer may be sought. However a decision to refuse an application will not be made solely on the basis that the person wishing to visit is a former prisoner. A more specific reason is required to justify this decision.  If the person falls under the category of close relative, a decision to refuse such a request will only apply in exceptional circumstances. Failure to comply with this instruction may lead to the visitor being banned from entering the prison.

Disabled access

Garth provides wheelchair access to the visits hall and closed visits areas.  There is also a disabled toilet available for use.

Children’s play area

Garth provides a children’s play area within the main visits hall. Garth provides a play worker who will put on structured activities for the children, however it still remains the visitors’ responsibility to supervise their children when using the play area.

Assisted prison visitor information

Information is displayed in the visits area regarding this scheme. Information is available in audio format, Braille and in numerous languages on request.

Property

To maximise the amount of property accepted through visits a new policy and application form was introduced on the 8 January 2018. This was to ensure that all standard and enhanced prisoners had a property window opened once annually a calendar year by wing rota each month.

The following rota is in force for property windows:

E & Segregation - Jan, Apr, July, Oct

A&B Wing – Feb, May, Aug, Nov

C&D Wing – Mar, Jun, Sept, Dec

F&G – Visits days throughout the year

All standard & enhanced IEP prisoners must not have been on basic IEP for a minimum period of 90 days or three months.

Clothing parcels will only be accepted from the visitor who is named on the application. Parcels will not be accepted from any other person.

  • The maximum number of clothing parcels that will be accepted on any one given day will be 10
  • Only the number of items outlined below and only in a single transaction. Storing items will not be allowed save in exceptional circumstances, anyone wishing to have their clothing stored must write to the Head of Operations providing reasons why this is necessary.
  • Any illicit items within the parcel will result in the illicit items being confiscated, Consideration will be given as to the remainder of the items will be issued. The visitors details will be passed to the police pending an investigation of an offence and the prisoner will be banned from receiving parcels in the future, IEP level will also be considered for downgrade, closed visits will also be considered as will a ban for your visitor.
  • Parcels will be accepted on an individual basis by application to the Head of Operations.

A Clothing parcel can contain the following items –no deviation will be accepted. These are maximum numbers.

Enhanced

  • 8 tops T shirts, Jumpers, Polo’s etc.
  • 6 legwear items Jeans, trousers, Joggers, Shorts
  • 2 pairs footwear Trainers, Shoes
  • 1 Pair Sliders
  • 1 Pair Slippers
  • 1 jacket/ Coat – no padded/ hooded jackets, no fleeces, no outerwear in black, or navy that could be mistaken for staff uniform (any grade or discipline, Inc. PEI’s etc.)
  • 1 Dressing Gown
  • 1 Pair Knitted Rib Gloves

Standard

  • 6 tops T shirts, Jumpers, Polo’s etc.
  • 4 legwear items Jeans, trousers, Joggers, Shorts
  • 1 pairs footwear Trainers, Shoes
  • 1 jacket/ Coat – no padded/ hooded jackets, no fleeces, no outerwear in black, or navy that could be mistaken for staff uniform (any grade or discipline, Inc. PEI’s etc.)

Process

Prisoners will need to complete a Clothing Application form available on the wing with details of when the visit is booked, checks for eligibility will be made at this time..

A Maximum of 10 Parcels will be accepted per day.

The parcels will be accepted at the Visitors entrance at HMP Garth on each visiting day between 13:05 hrs. And 13:30 hrs. Only, any visitors arriving with clothing parcels after this time will not be accepted and they will have to return another day with an agreed approval slip for that date. All items will be searched prior to issuing,  visitors will need to complete a form detailing what they are handing over as they currently do with books, boxers and socks it is the visitors responsibility to ensure this information is correct.

Clothing Parcels through the post

Prisoners that have not received visits due to the distance from their home area and have put applications to receive a clothing parcel through the post. These applications will be taken on an individual basis by application to the Head of Operations.

Those prisoners who do not receive visits due to distance from their home area can apply to the Head of Operations. Applications will be dealt with on an individual basis.

Official visits

Legal visits will commence at 14.00 hours until 15:45 hours.  We have 6 legal booths in the main visits hall and 4 closed legal booths at the rear of the main visits. All legal visitors will be searched in accordance with the National Security Framework to Level B standard.  Any indication or recovery of illicit items will result in detention, arrest and charge.  Staff will observe all legal visits but will not routinely be in hearing of the visit. Garth provides a number of legal booths which are designed to give good visibility during a legal visit but allow privacy between the prisoner and his legal representative.  .

Acceptable forms of identification for official visitors are:

  • Members of either House of Parliament: Houses of Parliament ID card;
  • Legal advisers: identity card issued by firm/chambers, or introductory letter on headed letter paper of firm/chambers;
  • Police, UK Border Agency and HM Revenue & Customs officers: warrant card;
  • Probation officers: probation department ID card;
  • Staff from other prisons, HQ or Home Office staff: Ministry of Justice, Prison Service, or Home Office photo security pass;
  • Consular officials: consular ID card;
  • Other public officials: departmental or local authority pass or ID card (but only if it shows the name of the visitor and the name of the department or local authority);
  • Social workers identification cards :
  • Researchers: Security Photo pass or official letter (visits must be pre-arranged), and
  • NHS photographic identification badge/card. Independent sector healthcare photographic identification badge/card.

Official Visitors are allowed to bring the following items into legal visits.

  • A valid visitor’s pass accompanied by a booking fax
  • Legal paperwork relating only to the prisoner named on the booking fax. No lever arch files. Treasury tags must have plastic ends not metal.
  • Writing implements (2 pens, 2 pencils, 2 highlighters). No electronic pens.
  • Laptop computers. These must have normal power cables. In the case of an external USB drive being authorised upon request of the entry application, the drive serial number and 1 X USB cable MUST be included on the authorisation form. Should the drive be of a non USB 2 type, i.e. not powered from the USB, then the power supply and serial number for the drive must be included on their application. They must apply for authorisation to bring these into the prison prior to their visits; they should request the form to do this when making their booking
  • Prescription glasses.

Professional or official visits

Visits by the following should not count against a prisoner's allowance:

  • Legal advisers
  • Probation Officers
  • Pastoral visits by priests and ministers.
  • Samaritans
  • Persons appointed by the Governor under the Official Prison Visitors Scheme
  • MPs visiting in an official capacity
  • Officers of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
  • Representatives of the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, NHS Ombudsman and the Office of the Legal Services Ombudsman
  • Consular officials
  • Police Officers or other public officials in discharge of their duty
  • Visits from an accredited agent of the Treasury Solicitor, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Crown Prosecution Service, or the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy, on production of the necessary authority from the department, to interview and to serve documents on a prisoner.
  • Staff of the Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • Representatives of veterans organisations such as the Royal British Legion, the Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Families Association when acting in an official capacity or assisting with resettlement issues

Representatives of the Commission for Racial Equality visiting in a professional capacity or any other organisation when the purpose of the visit is specifically and solely to discuss

Booking information: Please pre book visits on 01772 44 3503.Email booking: SocialVisits.Garth@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

How to get there:

  • Train: Leyland Railway Station is six miles from the prison
  • Car: From M6 (junction 28): Turn left, follow mini-roundabout, go straight across and follow road to traffic lights. Turn left, go through next set of lights, follow road round to right (leisure centre on left). At end, turn left and then immediately right. Follow road to end (mini-roundabout) and turn right. At next mini-roundabout, go straight across. Bear left into Slater Lane and go straight across at the traffic lights. Follow the road to the end and turn left. Garth is approximately one mile on the right (follow signs).
Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service

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