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You can now book a prison visit online

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Transformation

You can now book a prison visit online

Booking a prison visit should be simple and straightforward. Until now that was far from the case. Booking a visit required both prisoner and visitor to jump through hoops: paper forms and drawn-out phone calls. And if the visit date turned out to be impossible, they had to start all over again.

Now you can book a visit online. It takes about 5 minutes. Before, picking an available date was pot luck. Now there's a date-picker that lets you select 3 possible slots instead of 1. It’s a straight-forward service with user-needs at its heart but, if you get stuck, you can call the prison's visits booking line and someone will help you with the booking.

Here's a very short film we've made about it:

By making it easier to book visits, prisoners will see more of their friends and family. Evidence suggests this will help their rehabilitation. Transformation isn't just about websites.

The service was built by the Ministry of Justice, with a combined team from the National Offender Management Service, HM Prison Service and MoJ Digital Services.

For more of the story behind this service, read Mike Bracken's account of his trip to HMP Rochester or check out the service’s transformation page.

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  1. Comment by Pauline posted on

    How do you find out the prisoners number??? so you can go ahead with online booking of a visit?

  2. Comment by linda posted on

    This service does not appear to work this is day 2 trying to use it

  3. Comment by Olivia posted on

    If a visit is booked and someone cant make it, is it possible to change the name of one of the people to someone else?

  4. Comment by Paige posted on

    Hi my partner was sent to nottingham today, I was on his previous list 4 months ago for a visit. Will that still be on the system all will it have to he put through again if so how long does it take to be approved for a visit?

  5. Comment by Debs posted on

    Is there a list of prisons where online booking can't be used?


    • Replies to Debs>

      Comment by Louise Duffy posted on

      Hi Debs,

      According to the information on this page:, you can arrange a visit to any prison in England and Wales through this service. If you're visiting someone in Northern Ireland or Scotland you'll need to contact the prison directly.

      This link also lists the type of visits that are not covered by the online service: so you need to get in touch with the prison directly.

      Hope that's helpful.

  6. Comment by c.steer posted on

    So how do I find the booking form to fill in I am new to computers

    • Replies to c.steer>

      Comment by Louise Duffy posted on

      Hi there,

      Here's the link to the booking form:

      You'll need this information to complete the form:

      prisoner number
      prisoner’s date of birth
      dates of birth for all visitors coming with you
      make sure the person you’re visiting has added you to their visitor list

      Hope that's useful.

  7. Comment by Shawnaa posted on

    i have a visit booked which i did online but i do not have a visiting order woll the prison let me in?

    • Replies to Shawnaa>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Your identity will be checked on arrival to make sure you’re on the visitor list.

  8. Comment by jessicca posted on

    What happens after you book the visit and its confirmed by email do you need the visiting order ?

    • Replies to jessicca>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Hi Jessica

      The Visiting Order (VO) number is generated by the booking system, it is included in your confirmation email and you will need this to change or cancel a booking.

      However, if you're visiting a prison the guidance is that you only need your ID, not the VO number. If when you visit the prison you are asked for the VO number you should report this via the Contact Us link on the Prison Visits Booking form.

      I hope that helps.

  9. Comment by Ilysa Mcnally posted on

    How late in advance can I book e.g. book a visit today (Tuesday) for the Sunday coming???

    • Replies to Ilysa Mcnally>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Hi Ilysa. Thanks for your question. A visit needs to be booked 3 working days in advance. So in this case, the visit request would have to be no later than Tuesday to allow for a visit on Sunday.

  10. Comment by carole posted on

    How far in advance can you book visits

    • Replies to carole>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Hi Carole. You can book up to 28 days in advance. Thanks for your question.

      • Replies to Carrie Barclay>

        Comment by kimberly posted on

        does anyone know how to cancel a visit online?