19 Nov Detailed guide: Birmingham Prison
Book and plan your visit to Birmingham Prison
At Birmingham Prison, residents are responsible for booking their own visits. To be able to visit, they will need to add you to their visitor list first.
When they make a booking, you will receive a visiting order confirming the date and time of your visit. You will need to bring a copy of the visiting order and the required ID to your visit.
At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.
There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Birmingham Prison.
Contact Birmingham Prison if you have any questions about visiting.
Booking enquiries: 0121 598 8170
Monday to Friday, 9am to midday, 1:15pm to 5pm
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Help with the cost of your visit
If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:
- travel to the prison
- somewhere to stay overnight
Family and friends visiting times
- Monday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
- Tuesday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm, 6pm to 7pm
- Wednesday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm, 6pm to 7pm
- Thursday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm, 6pm to 7pm
- Friday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
- Saturday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
- Sunday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
How to book legal and professional visits
You can book legal visits by email or telephone.
Visiting times are Monday to Friday:
- mornings: 8:30am to 9:10am, 9:30am to 10:10am, 10:30am to 11:10am, 11:30am to 12:10pm
- afternoons: 2pm to 2:40pm, 3pm to 3:40pm and 4pm to 4:40pm
Getting to Birmingham Prison
Birmingham Prison is about 2 miles from Birmingham New Street Station, where you can take a taxi or change onto local buses and trams.
To plan your journey by public transport:
There is a visitors car park, including spaces for Blue Badge holders.
Entering Birmingham Prison
All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:
- driving licence
- benefit book
- senior citizen’s public transport pass
- annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
- employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
- European Community identity card
All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.
Birmingham Prison has a strict dress code policy which means visitors should dress sensibly. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses, ripped jeans, or anything with offensive patterns or slogans. See posters in the visitors centre and visitor waiting area for details.
Each group of visitors is allowed to take in a maximum of £50 in small notes and change (no £20 notes). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the vending machines and snack bar in the visiting hall.
There are strict controls on what you can take into the prison. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. Pushchairs and car seats can be brought as far as the visitor waiting area.
You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.
The visiting hall includes a play area for children, a snack bar and vending machines.
Birmingham Prison holds regular family days giving residents more time to spend time with their children in a relaxed setting. These are normally on the last Friday of every month.
Residents can apply for these visits or families can ask to be included at the visitors centre.
Keep in touch with someone at Birmingham Prison
There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident during their time at Birmingham Prison.
Residents have phones in their rooms and are able to make calls every day between 7am and 11pm.
Phones do not accept incoming calls so they will always have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this.
They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.
You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.
Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.
You can send emails to someone in Birmingham Prison using the Email a Prisoner service.
You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident, depending on the rules at Birmingham Prison.
You can write at any time.
Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope.
If you do not know their prison number, contact Birmingham Prison.
All post apart from legal letters will be opened and checked by officers.
Send money and gifts
You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.
You can also send cheques and postal orders. These should be made payable to ‘The Governor of HMP Birmingham’ and include the resident’s name and prison number on the back.
Gifts and parcels
People in Birmingham Prison have a list of approved items that can be given to them by family and friends.
Residents must first apply for permission to receive items. Birmingham Prison then sends the family member or friend an approved stamp to fix to their parcel.
Family and friends can then hand in the parcel before visits.
Items should be handed in to the property desk in the visitors centre.
You must have a visit booked for the time you hand anything in, otherwise it won’t be accepted.
Items are not normally accepted by post. However, a resident who is a foreign national or does not get visits can apply for permission for a family member or friend to send items in. These parcels must also be marked with an approved stamp. Birmingham Prison takes no responsibility for items sent in the post.
Make sure to include the resident’s name and prison number on parcels. All items will be opened and inspected by an officer.
Contact Birmingham Prison if you have any questions.
Life at Birmingham Prison
Birmingham Prison is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.
Security and safeguarding
Every person at Birmingham Prison has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.
All safeguarding processes are overseen by Birmingham City Council Safeguarding Adults Board.
Arrival and first night
When a resident first arrives at Birmingham Prison, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.
They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.
Each person who arrives at Birmingham Prison gets an induction that lasts about 3 days. They will meet professionals who will help them with:
- health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
- any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
- personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
- other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions
Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.
Around 1000 men live in Birmingham Prison in a mixture of single and shared rooms. There are 11 wings, including an older prisoners unit, a drug recovery unit and a first night centre.
Facilities include a library and gym.
Birmingham Prison has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.
Education and work
Residents have access to a broad range of vocational training, including bricklaying, plumbing, painting and decorating, carpentry, forklift truck driving, industrial cleaning and catering.
They can also take courses in basic skills, IT, social and life skills, business skills, creative and performing arts, barbering and more. Students have the opportunity to gain recognised qualifications on all courses. The education is provided by Derby College.
Birmingham Prison has an active resettlement unit which helps residents with housing, benefits and employment issues supported by staff from Job Centre Plus and Citizens Advice.
Some Birmingham Prison residents may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Residents can apply for this within the prison.
Support for family and friends
Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.
Support at Birmingham Prison
The charity HALOW Birmingham provides support and advice to the families and friends of men in Birmingham Prison.
Telephone: 0121 598 8050
Daily, 8am to 4:15pm
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Information on services and support for families and friends is also available from the visitors centre.
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem contact Birmingham Prison. If you can’t resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.
HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Birmingham Prison in response to independent inspections.
Governor: Paul Newton
Telephone (24 hours): 0121 598 8000
Fax: 0121 345 2501
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Winson Green Road
Safer custody hotline
If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Birmingham Prison, call the safer custody hotline. There is an answerphone out of hours which is checked regularly.
Telephone: 0121 598 8235
Daily, 7:30am to 5pm
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