Detailed guide: Drake Hall Prison

Ministry of Justice - by Jim Larrison via Flickr

Detailed guide: Drake Hall Prison

Book and plan your visit to Drake Hall

To visit someone in Drake Hall you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 24 hours in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

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 Drake Hall.

Contact Drake Hall if you have any questions about visiting.

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 Drake Hall
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6501
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 1:30pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 1:30pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 1:30pm to 3:45pm

Children might be allowed to stay overnight on some visits. Residents can apply for this internally.

How to book legal and professional visits

Email: hmppsvisitbooking@justice.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6501
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 9:30am to 11:30am
  • Tuesday: 9:30am to 11:30am
  • Wednesday: 9:30am to 11:30am

Getting to Drake Hall

Find Drake Hall on a map

The closest railway station is Stafford. There is a taxi rank outside but there is no direct bus service from the station to the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

Visitor parking is available opposite the prison, signposted from the main road. Blue Badge holders can park inside the prison. Use the intercom at the car park barrier to access the car park.

Entering Drake Hall

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • 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.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £10 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the shop in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Drake Hall. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

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.

Visiting facilities

The family-friendly visitors centre at Drake Hall is run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), a national charity. Visitors are offered a warm welcome, information and support.

There is a refreshment bar serving drinks and sandwiches. The centre also includes a children’s play area.

Family days

Drake Hall arranges all-day family visits during the school holidays. Contact Drake Hall for details.

Keep in touch with someone at Drake Hall

You may not be able to speak with someone at Drake Hall during their first few days. This is because it can take time to approve who they can be in touch with.

Women do not have phones in their rooms so they will always need to call you rather than you call them.

Phone calls

Residents can phone anyone on their list of friends and family from phones on the landing of each unit. This list is checked by security.

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.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Drake Hall 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 Drake Hall.

Letters

Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, contact Drake Hall.

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 postal orders and cheques. These should be made payable to ‘The Governor’ and include the resident’s name and prison number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Gifts are not permitted under any circumstances at Drake Hall. You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Life at Drake Hall

Drake Hall is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where women can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Drake Hall, they will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs. They will be taken to a single room in the unit and given bedding, towels and toiletries.

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.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Drake Hall gets an induction that lasts about a week. 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.

Accommodation

Around 340 women live at Drake Hall in a mixture of single and double rooms.

There is also an open unit outside the perimeter fence that gives up to 25 women the opportunity to work in the local community and prepare for release.

They have access to farms and gardens, indoor and outdoor gyms and other facilities in their free time.

Education and work

Women at Drake Hall can study or take workshops and training courses in a range of subjects.

They can take part in voluntary and paid work programmes, including a call centre, Halfords Academy, Greggs Academy, Max Spielmann Academy and McDonalds Hotel Group, with the possibility of employment on release.

Drake Hall has its own branch of the Women’s Institute.

Temporary release

Drake Hall residents have the opportunity to leave the prison for short periods of time. This is known as release on temporary licence. It can be used to gain work experience in the local community, maintain family ties, ensure contact with their children and prepare for release.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Drake Hall. If you can’t resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Governor: Carl Hardwick

Telephone (24 hours): 01785 774 100
Fax: 01785 774 010
Find out about call charges

Follow Drake Hall on Twitter

Address

HMP/YOI Drake Hall
Eccleshall
Staffordshire
ST21 6LQ

See map

 

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