HMP & YOI Low Newton Visitor Centre

Address:

HMP&YOI Low Newton,
33/34 Finchale Avenue,
Brasside,
Durham
DH1 5SD

Click on the blue question below to see the answers appear underneath. 

Contact details

Visitors’ centre: 0191 3764138  - please note that this line is not currently manned. If you would like someone to talk to or have concerns about a loved one in HMP Low Newton please contact our family engagement manager from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 07854 594054.
Visitors’ centre email:  use contact form to email HERE 
Prison: 0191 3764000

Visits booking email: www.gov.uk/prison-visits

Visits booking line: 0300 303 0632
 

New arrangements for social visits

Social and legal visits at HMP&YOI Low Newton are temporarily cancelled until 31 October 2020.

Visits returned on Monday 27 July 2020 in line with national guidelines and authority granted by HMPPS. Social visits will run with a reduced capacity, allowing the prison to operate safely and comply with latest public health advice on social distancing measures and regulations around the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) / face coverings.

When can I visit?

Social visits will take place on the following days:

Visits times are as follows:

Tuesday          2.30pm to 3.30pm

Thursday         2.30pm to 3.30pm

Friday             2.30pm to 3.30pm

Saturday         2.30pm to 3.30pm 

Sunday           2.30pm to 3.30pm

Visitors are asked to arrive 60 minutes prior to their visit start time and to adhere to social distancing requirements when using the visitors centre. 

To reduce the risk of transmission and to facilitate cleaning, the prison are unable to accept any visitors who arrive after the start of their visit, unless exceptional circumstances occur.
 

How can I book a visit?

At present, due to the expected high demand of visits, the prison will only accept visits booked by telephone at this time.

The email system is not currently in use.

To book a visit telephone the Visits Line on 0300 303 0632.

The line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.

How often can I visit?

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month which will be one hour in duration. This may change depending on demand and availability of visits.

Who can visit?

Visits will only be allowed by people who are symptom free, who have not been asked to self-isolate and who have not recently come into contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating.

Please note that there will be no physical contact allowed on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kisses)

At present the following are able to visit:

A single adult - Aged 18 or over, who are a partner, parent, foster parent, grandparent, carer or signicant other

Two adults - Aged 18 or over, who are two parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (eg a parent or granparent) but all visitors will live together as part of the same household.

Two adults and up to one dependent child - Aged 18 or over, who are: two parents, two foster parents, two granchildren, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (eg a parent or a grandparent); and one dependent child (eg son, daughter) of the person veing visitsed. All visitors will live together as part fo the same household.

A single adult and up to two children - Aged 18 or over, who are the partner, parent, foster parent, grandparent, carer or adult close relative or significant other and up to two dependent children (eg son, daughter) will live together as part of the same household.

If a visitor's home address falls within a location identified as having a local community outbreak they will still be permitted to visit. The prison will liaise with Public Health England to ensure the visits environment is COVID-19 safe in this instance.  As a rule, visitors will not be permitted to visit from those areas who are subject to more stringent localised movement restrictions.

If visitors fail to bring identification they will not be allowed into the prison and please ensure that you bring ID that provides proof of residence as all visitors in your group must live in the same household.

After each 1 hour visit the visitors will be asked to leave the hall.

Who cannot have a visit?

Symptomatic residents under isolation

New residents (within the first 14 days) and those who are returning from external hospital who are required to spend 14 days isolated.

Face coverings

All visitors aged over 11 years will be required to wear face coverings on arrival at the visitors centre and throughout the visit (unless asked to remove them for security checks).

Face coverings will be provided and are to be worn throughout the visit. Any visitors that are exempt from wearing a face covering will be assessed following the provision of supporting medical documentation.

Social distancing

The prison ask that all visitors observe social distancing and any guidance given by staff. Although we fully understand that this maybe difficult, we ask that no physical contact takes place. This will help keep Low Newton a COVID safe environment.

Facilities

Unfortunately, there will be no indoor play areas or refreshments available in order to help the prison further reduce visitor movement in support of social distancing. No property may be brought to the visits hall or handed in by visitors.

We all understand how important social visits are to you and the impact of these having been suspended during the critical Covid-19 period over recent weeks. We acknowledge how the new ways of operating during social visits will feel different and may be difficult to adjust to. Please be patient, courteous and understanding of the new ways of working. Staff at HMP&YOI Low Newton and Nepacs will do their very best to try to make the visit experience as enjoyable as it can be.

Video describing new process

Our family engagement manager at HMP&YOI Low Newton has created a video describing what you need to know about the new arrangements for visits.

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

If you are concerned about anyone in custody, please speak to a Visits Officer in the prison or any staff at the Visitors’ Centre. Alternatively you can leave a telephone message using the ‘At risk’ line on 0191 376 4189.

Gill, our family engagement manager, is also available to help with any issues that you may be finding difficult during this time. Gill can be contacted on:

Tel: 0191 3764232 or 07854 594054

Email: gismail@nepacs.co.uk

When can I visit?

Social and legal visits at HMP&YOI Low Newton are temporarily cancelled until 31 October 2020.

Visits times are as follows:

Tuesday          2.30pm to 3.30pm

Thursday         2.30pm to 3.30pm

Friday             2.30pm to 3.30pm

Saturday         2.30pm to 3.30pm 

Sunday           2.30pm to 3.30pm

Visitors are asked to arrive 60 minutes prior to their visit start time and to adhere to social distancing requirements when using the visitors centre. 

To reduce the risk of transmission and to facilitate cleaning, the prison are unable to accept any visitors who arrive after the start of their visit, unless exceptional circumstances occur.

Who can visit?

Who can have visitors?

All prisoners can have visits at this time, except those subject to isolation or new arrivals in their first 14 days in custody. Those residents who are shielding can receive visits but must follow strict rules around social distancing.

Who can visit?

At present the following are able to visit:

A single adult - Aged 18 or over, who are a partner, parent, foster parent, grandparent, carer or signicant other

Two adults - Aged 18 or over, who are two parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (eg a parent or granparent) but all visitors will live together as part of the same household.

Two adults and up to one dependent child - Aged 18 or over, who are: two parents, two foster parents, two granchildren, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (eg a parent or a grandparent); and one dependent child (eg son, daughter) of the person veing visitsed. All visitors will live together as part fo the same household.

A single adult and up to two children - Aged 18 or over, who are the partner, parent, foster parent, grandparent, carer or adult close relative or significant other and up to two dependent children (eg son, daughter) will live together as part of the same household.

If a visitor's home address falls within a location identified as having a local community outbreak they will still be permitted to visit. The prison will liaise with Public Health England to ensure the visits environment is COVID-19 safe in this instance.  As a rule, visitors will not be permitted to visit from those areas who are subject to more stringent localised movement restrictions.

Please notify the prison if you think there will be difficulties with this arrangement.

Visitors’ are not allowed to stay in the Visitors’ Centre .

Visitors wearing an electronic tag are not permitted to visit unless approved by the Governor.

How can I book a visit?

At present, due to the expxected high demand of visits, the prison will only accept visits booked by telephone at this time.

The email system is not currently in use.

To book a visit telephone the Visits Line on 0300 303 0632.

The line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.

A visit can be booked a minimum of 2 working days prior to your visit date (subject to availability) and a visit can be booked up in a maximum of 28 working days prior to the visit (subject to availability).

The person who books the visit must give details of every visitor who is attending the visit and must be on the prisoner’s contact list.

How often am I able to visit?

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month at present - which will be one hour in duration. This may change depending on demand and availability of visits.

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 Assisted Prison Visits Scheme before starting your visit.   

You can also get in touch with them Assisted Prison Visits Scheme direct on:

03000 632 100 (open 10.15am to 11.45am and 2.15pm to 3.45pm Monday to Friday)

Email: assisted.prison.visits@hmps.gsi.gov.uk or visit www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk

Find out more HERE.

Do I need a visiting order?

You do not need a visiting order. However, you will need a reference number which will be given to you when you book your visit by telephone. Please bring the confirmation reference number with you to the visit.

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. 

What ID documents will I need?

Visitors should identify themselves using one of the following:

  • Valid passport, including foreign passports

  • Valid Driving Licence with photograph

If the visitor is unable to provide one of the above, two of the following combinations are acceptable:

  • Birth or marriage certificate (original copy)

  • Credit or debit card (counts as one) 

  • Citizen or Library card, with photo - preferably in combination with the official documents

Persons under the age of 18 years may require ID.

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 and please ensure that you bring ID that provides proof of residence as all visitors in your group must live in the same household.

Where can I wait when I arrive for my visit?

When you arrive at the prison you must go to the Visitors’ Centre, where you will be required to follow social distancing guidelines.

On arrival at the Visitors’ Centre you will register at the desk where the prison visits process will be explained. Your ID and temperature will be checked on arrival at the visitor centre.  

Lockers are provided for you to use during your visit. 

Unfortunately, at this time there will be no refreshments on sale or provided at the visitors centre or during your visit and our play and youth zones are currently closed.

One clear bottle of baby milk can be taken for babies along with any changing materials.

An officer will take all visitors over to the visits hall where you will be searched before entering the visits room.

How can I get there?

By train or bus: Train or bus to Durham, then taxi or bus to Brasside.

  • Bus service 62, from outside the bus station in North Road, Durham at 12 minutes past the hour (Monday to Saturday only). No Sunday service.

  • Bus service 64, which is every 10 minutes from outside Durham bus station (Monday -Saturday only) provides a limited service on a Sunday to the Jovial Monk Pub on Newton Hall Estate. The pub is a 10 minute walk to the visitors’ centre, which is an uphill walk on the return journey.

  • Taxis from Durham City cost around £9.00 each way.

Parking is available at the prison. 

What facilities are there for children?

Please note the play area and youth zones in the visits hall and visitors centre will be closed until further notice to help reduce opportunities for transmission of COVID-19.

Parents/accompanying adults remain responsible for their children at all times and for ensuring that social distancing is maintained throughout the visit.

Do you run any special family visits?

At present our special family visits are cancelled due to COVUD-19 and the need to reduce the possibility of transmission.

When our Parent/child, extended child visits and special family visits are back up and running we will provide details on our website and social media pages.

What can I take into the visit?

  • Locker key
  • If a baby is visiting, the carer can take an empty feeding bottle with a factory sealed pack/carton of milk/juice, and dummy with them. Changing materials are also permitted.

Everything else including ID is to be left in your locker.

No scarves/headwear, fashion wigs, electronic devices worn on the wrist (inc Smart Watches and Fit Bits) can be worn on your visit.

Will I be searched?

Your ID and temperature will be checked on arrival at the visitors centre. 

An officer will take all visitors over to the visits hall where you will be searched (including your face covering) before entering the visits room.

There may be a passive drug detection dog on duty. If the dog indicates in any way that drugs have contaminated you, you will be offered a closed visit to assist in security. If your child is frightened of dogs you should inform staff. The dogs are friendly and do not bark or jump up.

Can I take anything for the person I am visiting?

Property cannot be handed in for the prisoner.

What items can I send to the prisoner?

Any items sent to the prisoner must be approved in advance by Wing staff in compliance with the facilities list, available to the prisoners from the Wing office on each Wing.

For example, if a prisoner requires some clothing sending in then they must fill out an application (App) and wait until it is authorised before asking the family/friend to send the parcel in to the prison. Any items received without approval will be returned to the sender and the postage costs will be charged to the prisoner.

In addition to approved items of clothing, letters, cards (not padded or with any embellishments), photographs (subject to security) and flowers delivered from any Interflora florist (flowers must not be in water bags) can be sent in without prior approval.

Books may also be posted in to the prisoner without prior approval as long as the prisoner has no more than 12 in their possession at any one time.

A range of items are available for the prisoner to purchase weekly eg tobacco, toiletries, phone credit, coffee, chocolate etc. Prisoners will also have to order newspapers and magazines on the wing. 

How can I send money to the prisoner?

Send Money to a Prisoner digital service.

Family and friends are now 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. 

It is currently unclear at this point in time if there is a minimum or maximum that can be sent via the system.

Click here for the online information/ site to start sending money

https://www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money

If you are unable to use the online E-cash system you may be able to apply for an E-cash exemption. Exemptions need to be made in writing to the governor – Rob Young, explaining why you are unable to access the E-Cash system. Please note, the prison cannot accept letters directly from residents requesting exemptions. 

Upon receipt, all requests will be considered and those who meet the criteria for exemption will be written to confirming they are able to send money in. Each request will be carefully considered.

Exemptions will not be given to residents who have access to money via E-cash from other sources.

Can she phone or write to me?

The prisoner is able to telephone her family/friends during association (time away from their cells), if she has bought phone credit and had your telephone number cleared with security. Be aware that it is not always possible for the prisoners to get to the phone and when they do there may be a long queue.

They are also able to write cards or letters.

You are also able to use the Prison Voicemail service.  For more information and costs associated with this service, click here. 

Can I have a video call with the prisoner?

Video calls will be available for prisoners and their families/contacts.

Each video call is 30 minutes in duration. At the moment, to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to have one, the calls are limited to one per month. Four people can be on the call, but the lead caller must be over 18 years old.

The costs of the video calls are free whilst social visits are suspended.

Video calls at Low Newton will take place Tuesday to Friday mornings.

Families and friends can access the service by downloading the “Purple Visits” app on their smartphone or tablet – the rest of the instructions are clear from the app. Details on how to get started are HERE.

Who do I contact if I need someone to talk to?

If you or your family have any additional needs, medical or otherwise, or just want someone to talk to please contact the Visitors’ Centre. We are here to help.

Gill, our family engagement manager, is also available to help with any issues that you may be finding difficult during this time. Gill can be contacted on:

Tel: 0191 3764232 or 07854 594054

Email: gismail@nepacs.co.uk

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. Look out for details in the centre.

For more information about visiting please get in touch with the visitors’ centre on 0191 3764138.

Send us an enquiry