Frankland Visitor Centre

Frankland Visitor Centre


HMP Frankland,

Contact details

Visitor centre: 0191 376 5200 Tuesdays to Sundays from 12noon to 4.15pm. Contact our visits team or helpline if you have any queries or would like some support for you or your family. Details HERE. 
Visitor centre email:  use contact form to email HERE 
Prison: 0191 3765000
Visits booking line: 0191 3765048

When can I visit?

Visits will take place on Tuesday to Sunday afternoons - between 2pm and 4pm. 

All prisoners are entitled to a minimum of 2 visits per month. Extra visits can be earned by the prisoners through the enhanced privileges scheme. 

How can I book a visit?

You will need to be on the prisoner’s visitor list before you can request a visit. Please bear in mind that if you need to be added to a prisoner’s list, it may take up to 2 weeks.

Visitors under the age of 18 years are not allowed a prison visit during the first 72 hours in custody. All visits must be booked 72 hours before the planned visit. 

Book online

You can book a visit to HMP Frankland online. When you book a visit online you will be offered up to 3 time slots for the visit.

Up to 3 days later, you will receive an email from the prison confirming your visit and the time slot.

To use the service you will need:

  • The prisoner number
  • The prisoner’s date of birth
  • Dates of birth for all visitors coming with you

You can access the service at

If you have any questions about this service, please contact

Booking by telephone

The booked visits line can be contacted by calling: 0191 376 5048. 

The visit booking line is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 12noon.  

Two full working days’ notice is required to book a visit.

The booking line can be very busy so please do keep trying.

If you need to change a booking, the original visit must be cancelled and then rebooked.

All visitors must be named on the prisoner’s contact list before they can book a visit and all visitors must be present when booking in.

If you are tagged or have been in prison you are not allowed to visit unless you receive written confirmation from the prison. If you receive confirmation in writing you must bring the letter with you on your visit and show it at the portal. 

Visitors who require wheel chair assistance will need to add the name of their helper on to the prisoner contact list so that they can assist you during the visit.

What ID documents will I need?

ID is required on your first visit.  Details of acceptable ID are available in the Visitors’ Centre or below. 

Social visitors have the option to present one photographic ID document from List A:

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 the Proof of Age Standards
Scheme (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)
All forms of ID must be originals, photocopies will not be accepted. If visitors fail to bring identification they will not be allowed into the prison.

For children the following forms of ID are acceptable: birth certificate, passport, child benefit letter or tax credit letter as long as they carry the child’s details.

If you don’t have photographic ID please check out the websites below: (current cost is £15) (Standard costs £15 but takes 21 days and urgent application costs £30 and could take up to 1-2 working days. When purchasing the card to be used for prison visits, you will be eligible for a 50% discount, making the cards cost £7.50 instead of £15.) 

Unfortunately if you do not have any photographic ID you will NOT be able to go have your social visit 

Who can visit?

A maximum number of three adults can visit, plus children. 

You can only visit if you are on the prisoner's approved contact list. 

All visitors MUST be named when you make your booking, including babies and children. This should be confirmed when booking your visit as details cannot be added later.

Am I allowed physical contact with the prisoner during visits?

Visitors are able to have limited physical contact with the person you are visiting during your visit.

Where can I wait when I arrive for my visit?

When you arrive at the prison you must go to the Nepacs Visitors’ Centre. 

Please do not be late for your visit.

In the event of limited space visitors may be required to return to their vehicle to await a phone call when ready to be processed.  

There are toilets, baby changing facilities, lockers, disabled access and parking.

Toilet facilities are available in the visitors centre and visits hall.

The tea bar in the visits hall is now open and refreshments can be preordered from the visitors centre, to be delivered to your table during your visit. The visitors centre is open from12 noon so visitors can sign in and order their teabar choices.

The Play area in the visitors centre is now open. The youth zone and play area in the visits hall remains closed at this time. Activity packs can also be provided to children during their visit.

Personal belongings - It is safer for everyone if visitors come without personal belongings.  Unfortunately nothing can be brought into the prison except in exceptional circumstances i.e. medical emergency.  Lockers are available for use in the Visitors' Centre if needed.  Property is not to be left unattended in the Visitors' Centre and must be secured in the lockers provided.

Nepacs staff and volunteers will be available in the visitors centre on visits days, Tuesday to Sunday 12noon to 4.15pm and can be contacted on 0191 376 5200. 

How can I get there?

Train or bus to Durham, then taxi or bus to Brasside. Bus number 62 leaves at 2 minutes past the hour from North Road in Durham and picks up for the return journey at 26 minutes past the hour.

There is no bus to Brasside on a Sunday. The number 64 bus will drop off at the Jovial Monk and you will need to walk to the prison.

Taxis from North Road in Durham will cost around £8 - £9.

If you are travelling by car there is free parking on site and free on-street parking. Disabled parking spaces are available. 

Is there a dress code?

HMP Frankland requests that visitors are of an acceptable standard of dress when visiting. Visitors to HMP Frankland must be dressed appropriately at all times, this reflects their aim to create a family atmosphere as part of their reducing re-offending and decency agenda.  This applies to all visitors to the establishment regardless of age and gender.  Please note, if you are unable to meet the requirements of the dress code, on arrival you will not be permitted to enter the establishment until you have changed into appropriate, alternative clothing. 

The flowing types of clothing are not permitted:

  • Short/ cropped tops that reveal a naked midriff
  • Low cut tops or shirts that are unbuttoned to reveal cleavage or bare chest
  • All clothing that does not cover the thigh area showing bare flesh
  • Shorts, dresses and skirts must be knee length
  • Any clothing with rips or tears
  • Headwear (other than for religious purposes)
  • Clothing that displays offensive material
  • No footwear with protective toecaps

All clothing should be of a type that allows staff to carry out the required level of searching without difficulty. 

In addition to the above, the following items are not allowed in the establishment;

  • Any clothing fitted with large buckles, chains and/ or excessive amount of zips
  • Belts with large buckles
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Handkerchiefs (tissues are available in the visits hall)
  • Excessive jewellery or any piercings which cannot be easily shown to searching staff
  • Padded jackets or coats

Locker facilities are located in the Visitors’ Centre for outer garments and personal effects.  Visitors are reminded that staff are required to search visitors as a condition of entry and that all visits take place at the discretion of the visits manager.

What can I take into the visit?

  • Locker key

  • ID card

  • A bottle of baby milk, pre-mixed, nappies and wipes.

Everything else is to be left in your locker.

Can I get help with the cost of visiting?

You may be able to claim travel expenses if you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits.

Please ask at the desk in the Visitors’ Centre for details of the Help with Prison Visits Scheme before commencing your visit.  Staff can help you complete the form.  


If you have problems accessing the website ask the visitors centre for support.

What facilities are there for children?

There is a small play area in the Visitors’ Centre. 

However at this time, the youth zone in the visitors centre and the play area in the visits hall remains closed.

Parents and guardians remain responsible for their children at all times.

Can I take anything or send anything for the person I am visiting?

Property can no longer be handed in or posted in, the prisoner must order through the approved catalogues inside.

Books can be brought in for the prisoner - please ask visitors centre staff for details.

Any property to be handed out from the prison will be done after 1.30pm, before you go across for your visit.

What happens when I enter the prison?

After reporting to the Visitors’ Centre for initial processing you will be called to the prison Gate.

Shoes, belts, jewellery and approved items will be examined in a tray through an X-ray machine.

You will be wanded down with a metal detector (hand held) and respectfully patted down to ensure no unauthorised items are taken into the prison. 

Wheelchairs are no longer available, visitors can use their own.

A drug detection dog will be on duty just before you go into the visits room. You will be asked to stand at a certain point and a prison officer will walk the dog past you. If the dog indicates that drugs in some way have contaminated you, you will be offered a closed visit, or you can rebook for another day.

After this you will go through the doors to the visits room.

How can I keep in touch with a prisoner?

The prisoner is able to telephone his family/friends during association (time away from their cells). They are also able to write cards or letters.

You can write to the prisoner, using his name and number. A prisoner will keep the same prison number during his time in prison and will not change, even if he changes prison.

You can also contact the prisoner using the following:

- Email a prisoner service. Find out more here:

- Prison Voicemail.  For more information and the costs associated with this, click here.

- Video calls: The secure social video calls (video calls) service at this prison is now provided by a service called Prison Video. This means that you will need to use the Prison Video app on your phone or tablet device to have a video call with someone in prison. For more information please visit or 

If you have any questions about any of the services above please ring our Nepacs visits team Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am to 4pm on 0191 376 5200.

How can I send money to the prisoner?

Family and friends are able to log on to an online electronic system to send money to a prisoner.  When you log in you will need to set up a ‘payee’ very much like you would when you do your internet banking.  To do this you need the prisoner’s number and date of birth.  Once you have input these into the online form and the system has checked this against NOMIS, if the details match, the money will then appear on the prison’s internal spreadsheet (an admin tool) the following morning for approval.  The system also gives you an option to pay via a debit card. 

Once the money has been approved it should appear within 1-3 days in the prisoner’s bank account.

By transferring money online it means the money is transferred more quickly, there are less processes and there is no physical handling of money for staff. 

You are no longer able to send cheques, postal orders and cash into the prisoner.

If you cannot use the online service you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:

- are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
- do not have a debit card
This will allow you to send money by post.

For more information and to arrange transfer of money to a prisoner visits

Is there someone I can talk to?

We offer a listening ear and friendly support. If you have concerns about any aspect of visiting or need more information please ask the booking clerk when you book your visit or ring our Nepacs Visitors’ Centre team 0191 376 5200 between Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:30am to 4pm.

Our family support worker is also available to help you or your family please contact the Nepacs’ family support team by telephone 0191 376 5201.

We also hold regular Visitors’ Voice sessions where visitors’ get together to support each other. On occasions a representative from the prison attends to explain what happens within different departments and to answer questions. Check dates in the centre or ask a member of the team.

If you are concerned about any prisoner please speak to a Visits officer in the prison or our visits team (numbers above). 

You can also contact the prison's confidential welfare helpline on 0800 0320079 - you can leave a message and this will be picked up by staff in the prison.

Who do I contact if our family needs support?

If you or your family have any additional needs please contact the Nepacs’ family support team by telephone 0191 376 5201 Tuesday to Thursday, or the visitors centre team on 0191 3765200 Tuesday to Sunday 12noon to 4.15pm. 

The Nepacs’ family support team at HMP Frankland can work with a prisoner and their family to:

  • Provide advice and support to families to reduce barriers to visiting
  • Signpost families to relevant community services
  • Assist to establish or maintain family bonds
  • Mediate reconciliation with family members
  • Provide support in gaining access to children
  • Support with practical issues such as transport and childcare
  • Offer emotional support
  • Provide help to access special family days and father-child visits, including after-school clubs
  • Help access financial support for travel and family hardships
  • Support in preparing for move to a different establishment or release - including our Heading Home re:settle support pack (which support prisoners and families before release)

We hold regular sessions (called Visitors’ Voice) where visitors’ get together to support each other. On occasions a representative from the prison attends to explain what happens within different departments and to answer questions. Your visitors can check forthcoming dates in the visitors’ centre.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about a prisoner?

If you are concerned about any prisoner please speak to a Visits officer in the prison or our visits team on 0191 3765200, Tuesday to Sunday 12noon to 4.15pm.

You can also contact the prison's confidential welfare helpline on 0800 0320079 - you can leave a message and this will be picked up by staff in the prison.

What health care services are available for prisoners?

Health care for prisoners in HMP Frankland is currently provided by Reconnected To Health (RTH).

RTH is a partnership made up of Spectrum CIC (general healthcare), Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust/TEWV (mental health services) and Humankind (drug and alcohol services).

If a prisoner has a concern, they must let a member of healthcare staff know.

Please see their website for frequently asked questions and answers about health care provision for prisoners in north east prisons. Find out more here:

Do you run any special family visits?

Special family day visits take place during school holidays, usually on a Wednesday. Prisoners interested in attending must complete an application form. Dates are advertised in the visitors’ centre. 

Who do I contact if I have any special requirements?

If you or your family have any additional needs, medical or otherwise, please contact the Visitors’ Centre team on 0191 3765200 between 12noon and 4.15pm Tuesday to Sunday.

For more information about visiting please get in touch with the visitor centre on 0191 3765200.

Send us an enquiry