Exeter Cathedral

Domestic Visiting Times:

Day;TimeCentre opens
Monday:No visits-
Tuesday:14:30 - 15:3013:00
Wednesday:No visits-
Thursday:14:30 - 15:3013:00
Friday:14:30 - 15:3013:00
Saturday pm:14:30 - 15:3013:00
Sunday pm:14:30 - 15:3013:00

To maintain social distancing, all visitors will be allocated a time slot to arrive at the prison. These will commence from 13:45 on visiting days.

Click for directions to HMP/YOI Exeter

 Bus: All national coaches arrive in to the main bus station which is within 1 Kilometre from the prison, in addition a local bus operates to all the Park & Ride schemes which are located on the main arterial routes into the City, (Visitors are advised to use this system as it is the most economical and easy access to the city). The Park & Ride schemes generally operate between 07:00 & 18:30 daily.

Train: The prison is accessible from two stations, Exeter St David’s is the main line station for trains arriving from both the East North and South West of the City (First Great Western & Cross Country) the station is approximately two kilometres from the establishment and local buses run from the station to the city centre.

Taxi: Different companies appear to charge anything from £12-£40 fares to HMP Dartmoor from Plymouth. The average rate should be £12-£20. If possible it is advisable to agree a fixed fare with your driver before setting out.

Car: If approaching from the North, you should exit at Junct 29 of the M5 and follow the signs for Exeter (B3183), to the city Centre. At the main traffic lights you will see “Next” Department store on your Left, go straight ahead until you come to a mini roundabout. The prison is directly in front of you.
If approaching from the East you should travel down the A303 and follow the directions above from the M5 to the prison.

If approaching from the South West you should exit the M5 at Junct 30 and follow the signs for Exeter City Centre as you reach the city centre (“Next” Department Store) you should follow the directions as above.

The prison has no parking facilities for visitors therefore all visitors should use the municipal car parks.

Baby playing with wooden blocks

Our Mission Statement

“To support and advise prisoners and their families to promote and enable positive change.”


HMP/YOI Exeter
30 New North Road

Prison Tel: 01392 415650
Choices Tel: 01392 415972

Regional Services for Prisoners’ Families

Online booking service is currently suspended for all three prisons.

Booking line number: 01392 415833
Opening Times: Monday – Friday 09:30-13:30
Book prison visits online

The prison has no parking facilities for visitors therefore all visitors should use the municipal car parks.

Family Visits at HMP/YOI Exeter – Subject to the lifting of COVID restrictions

Applied for by the prisoner

Family visits take place once per month. There are two types of family visits. Child Centred Visits (CCVs) and Adult Only Visits (AOVs). CCVs are held eight times per year and AOVs are held four times per year. The dates for these visits are displayed in the visits centre, visits hall and on the wings. All applications to attend these visits must be made by the prisoner. Applications must be made using the kiosk system situated on the wings.

All applications for these visits are subject to security approval.

Child Centred Visits – Currently Suspended

Child centred visits are held once a month and are held to help enhance positive interaction between fathers and their child/children. The entire visit is designed with the child/children in mind. Fathers are actively encouraged to engage with their children through positive interaction via play. Fun-filled activities are available for children of all ages. The Choices team are there to support fathers with their families during these visits.

Children centred visit days are designed to be more relaxed than regular visiting sessions. Prisoners can get up from their seats and interact with their families. CCV’s provide an opportunity for fathers and their children to bond in a way that is not often possible during a normal domestic visit.

CCVs run between the hours of 14:00 – 16:00. Visitors are advised to arrive at the visits centre at 13:00.

The dates for these visits are displayed in the visits centre, visits hall and on the wings. All applications to attend these visits must be made by the prisoner. Applications must be made using the kiosk system found on the wings. All applications for these visits are subject to security approval.

painted hand prints
painted hand prints

Visitors’ Centre – HMP/YOI Exeter

Run by Choices

The Visitors’ Centre offers a warm and welcoming child friendly environment for all visitors to HMP Exeter.

The centre is manned by a team of Choices volunteers and staff. Information, advice and guidance are readily available on issues surrounding community agencies, family services, benefit services, prison regimes and procedures and much more.

Visiting families can also access one-to-one support and advice from the Visitors Centre upon request. There are play facilities for children of all ages as well as toilets and baby changing facilities. There are lockers for your belongings located in the search area.

Arriving for your visit

Once you arrive in the Visits Centre, staff will be on hand to assist you with the booking in process. The booking-in paperwork includes a declaration form that we ask all visitors to sign to state that they do not have any prohibited items in their possession. The form also requires visitors to state who they are visiting, along with their name and address details. We also have a form to record distance travelled, ethnicity, disability and child’s ages. You will then be assigned a number.
Once booked in, some visitors choose to go away and come back at 1.30pm. The Visitors Centre has indoor seating, toilets and an indoor and outdoor children’s play area.

The Visits Centre is wheelchair accessible.

Between 13:30 and 14:00, visitors are asked to report to the main prison gate in groups of five. The number you were allocated when you booked in will determine the group you will be in. At the gate, you will be asked to show your ID. You will then be shown through into the locker area. After putting your belongings in the locker, you will be searched by member of uniformed staff. Female visitors will always be searched by a female member of staff. You will then be given the table number for your visit. The prisoner will already be seated in the visits hall when you arrive.

Prohibited Items When Visiting Prison

It is an offence to take prohibited items in to the prison. Prohibited items are classified in four categories as follows:

  1. Drugs, explosives, firearms, ammunition or any other offensive weapon.
  2. Alcohol, mobile telephones, cameras, sound recording devises or any parts of the latter three items.
  3. Tobacco, money, clothing, food, drink, letters, paper, books tools, information technology equipment.
  4. Monetary notes, bankcards, watches of any kind.

What Can I Bring in for a Prisoner when I visit?

Items can only be bought in for prisoners who are on remand. There is a list of acceptable items below for remanded prisoners. You will be required to take the items up to the search area where they will be checked and passed to the prisoner. No other items can be dropped off on a visit.

  • A minimal of three pairs of trousers (Must NOT be black or showing any logo’s)
  • A minimum of four tops (Must NOT be hoodies, white or showing any logo’s)

Authorisation from the Governor must be granted for any other items to be bought in for the prisoner. The authorisation application to the Governor must be sent from the prisoner.

What Can I take into the Visits Hall?

The only items that can be taken into your visit are:

  • Locker Key
  • Money – In the form of loose change, in a see through money bag
  • Visiting Order or Choices numbering slip
  • Baby food and powdered milk can be brought in, as long as they are still sealed as new, in the original packaging.

Up to £20 per adult visitor, or £10 per child is allowed to be taken into the prison to purchase refreshments. This must be in a money bag (available in the Visitors Centre) and must be coins only.

Nappies and wet wipes are provided by the prison.

There are lockers available in the Visitors Centre for any smaller items from the above list that you need to store prior to the visit. There are bigger lockers in the prison where you can store any coats or clothing as needed.


Sending Money in for Prisoners

You can send money in for Prisoners using a debit card or bank transfer. You will need the prisoners’ name, date of birth and prison number.

  1. Please visit the website. Or search “money to prisoner”.
  2. Use the prisoner’s number and date of birth.
  3. It will take up to 3 working days to reach the prisoners’ account.
  4. Prisoners can spend the money in the canteen as normal.

Dress Code when Visiting Prisoners

The majority of our visitors are accompanied by children and we want to foster a decent, safe and relaxed family environment for all our visitors. Because of this, the prison follows a strict dress code.

The following items of clothing should not be worn:

  • Hats, Scarves or head coverings that are not worn on religious grounds
  • Jackets or coats, hoodies or gloves
  • Inappropriately damaged clothing
  • Metal hair accessories
  • Steel toe-capped shoes/boots or cycle/motorcycle shoes
  • Non-prescription glasses i.e sunglasses
  • See-through/revealing clothing
  • Ripped jeans
  • Items of clothing that display offensive abusive or insulting words or gestures
  • Mini or very short skirts/dresses unless worn with leggings
  • Shorts that are shorter than mid-thigh to knee length
  • Visible or exposed underwear
  • Smart watches

This list is not exhaustive. It is up to prison staff to make decisions and judgements as to when clothing is inappropriate. When making these decisions, staff will always consider decency and diversity. You may be asked to adjust clothing or wear alternative clothing if available. As a last resort, your visit may be cancelled if the dress code cannot be followed. Smart Casual is advised.

Play at HMP/YOI Exeter – Subject to the lifting of COVID restrictions

Bring the children

Choices provide supervised play in the designated play areas in the Visitors Halls. A play worker and a team of volunteers supervise play sessions during visiting times.

Play plans and play themes are devised to facilitate children of all ages and abilities thus enabling stimulating, enjoyable activities for all during visiting times.

Choices encourage all children to spend time with their dads whilst visiting, along with the provision of activities within the play area, toys, games and drawing materials are available for children to play with their fathers at the tables.

Although the Choices team provide playful activities for visiting children, parents still have overall responsibility for their children during these sessions.


Catering at HMP/YOI Exeter – Subject to the lifting of COVID restrictions

All Tea Bars are currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19

Healthy Choices provide wholesome and affordable food and beverages to all visitors during visiting times in the Visitors Centres and Visitors Halls.

Choices have conducted some research ascertaining what visitors would like to eat and drink during visits. These requests have been adhered to along with our ethos of providing a healthier choice of foods and beverages resulting in an extensive change of menu within all three prison establishments.

Visitors can now purchase a wide range of hot and cold snacks such as toasted sandwiches, cake, cream tea, fruit,  tea, coffee etc.

Child smiling while painting
Toasted sandwich

Family Conference Meeting at HMP/YOI Exeter – Subject to the lifting of COVID restrictions

Choices recognise the significant role that families play in the well-being of prisoners. Choices staff offer new prisoners and their family member/significant other the opportunity to attend a Family Conference Meeting. This meeting facilitates prisoners and their family member/significant other to identify and discuss possible areas of need, in order to put into place relevant support networks to help reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

Family Conference Meetings will;

  • Enable prisoners, their family member/significant other to sit and talk through any concerns or issues they may have in a calm and safe space.
  • Be facilitated by members of the CHOICES team who will be able to offer guidance and support.
  • Offer support that is non-judgemental and aimed at giving prisoners the best possible outcomes.
  • Help to identify areas of concern and to structure a plan for ongoing support for both the prisoner and family member/significant other.
  • Provide opportunities to access relevant additional support.

All applications to attend a Family Conference Meeting must be made by the prisoner, using the kiosk system found on the wings. All applications for these visits are subject to security approval.


Inductions at HMP/YOI Exeter

Family / Prisoner Support / Inductions / First Night in Custody

The first night in custody work undertaken by the Choices team enables prisoners the opportunity to discuss immediate concerns that require attention within the first few hours of entering the prison establishment. Areas of concern may include:

  • Emotional
  • Practical
  • Financial
  • Referral to other agencies
  • Visiting Procedures
  • Resettlement
  • Child-related issues
  • Need for someone to listen and reassure
  • Advocacy work

Choices staff and volunteers see all new prisoners during their induction process with the aim to highlight possible needs and services available.

If a prisoner highlights areas of need regarding family matters follow-up work can be undertaken. Prisoners are given the opportunity to highlight their needs during their induction or put in an application for one of our team to come and see them at a later date.

All new prisoners are informed on how they can access our services and access the required help. This service is designed to reduce anxiety for offenders especially when they have just entered the prison system and may have significant concerns which need highlighting and resolving.

Family conferences
Man looking worried

Safer Custody Hotline

Every person at Exeter has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a man in HMP Exeter, call the safer custody hotline. There is an answerphone that is checked several times a day. Telephone: 0800 496 1874.

If you have an immediate concern, please call the main switchboard to voice your concern. Telephone: 01392415650.

Your Voice Matters

Prisoner Voicemail

Prisoner voicemail is a faster, easier, cheaper way to communicate. All you need is a prison voicemail number.

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How it works

  1. Leave messages from your mobile at any time. Call your Prison Voicemail number from your mobile at any time and leave a message. The message is instantly available at the other end.
  2. The prisoner listens to the messages. They simply dial their Prison Voicemail number from any phone in the prison. The call costs them the price of a normal landline call.
  3. Get a reply, leave another message. After listening, the prisoner can leave you a reply. When you receive a notification, just call your Prison Voicemail number to listen and respond.

Payment Plans

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