Getting Into the Visits Hall

If you are volunteering in the Visits Hall you will enter the prison through the left-hand doors, along with those visitors who are visiting residents.

Make yourself known to the officer on duty (show your FOPP pass) and explain that you are here “to help the Playworker” or “to help at a Family Day” in the Visits Hall.  Make sure your FOPP pass is clearly visible at all times while you are in the prison.  Because you will be entering the prison through the Visitors entrance, you will not be making use of your Biometric I/D but will be subjected to the same security checks as the visitors.

You mustn’t have anything in your pockets – you can’t take anything in with you other than your locker key. 

You will be subjected to the same kind of search that you might be familiar with when passing through an airport passenger terminal. 

You should remove your coat, shoes, belt and watch, and place them in one or more of the blue plastic trays by the X-Ray scanner.  Place the tray on the conveyor into the X-Ray scanner and move down towards the next officer, who will check the items before allowing you through the body scanner into the waiting area. 

You will undergo a pat-down full body search, during which you will be asked to raise your outstretched arms, both facing the officer and facing away from the officer, while the search is conducted.  Ladies will be searched by a female officer, but gentlemen may be searched by either a male or female officer.

If all is well with your security checks you will be given back your belongings before being ushered, as part of a group, into the prison through the air-lock.  You will be escorted across the yard to the prison building where the Visits Hall is upstairs on the first (top) floor.

Keep close to your escort at all times, as he/she is personally responsible for your safety as you move through the various parts of the prison, and must make sure that you haven’t been left behind or gone ahead to tag along with another officer.

At the end of your shift you will be escorted back out the same way (but without the need to be searched).


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