What to bring

You should aim to take as few items as possible into the prison.  Leave money and all electronic devices such as mobile phones and fitness trackers in your car or else in one of the lockers just inside the prison before going through security.  You will need a £1 coin (or a token available from our Volunteer Coordinator) to operate the locker.  Obviously, you are allowed to take the locker key in with you.  You shouldn’t have anything in your pockets – anything you want to take into the prison must be placed in your clear plastic satchel (provided by FOPP) so they can be easily visually examined by officers.

Check out the following headings for further information about taking things into the prison.

If you are volunteering in any of the Education Departments you can take in a small quantity of tea, coffee and a snack for your personal consumption while on your shift.  These will be closely inspected if you are subjected to a search, to make sure you are not trying to smuggle in illicit substances.  It is a good idea only to take in snacks (such as muesli bars or chocolate biscuits) that are in their original, unopened packaging.

If you need to take in medication of any kind for your own use, you must obtain official consent before doing so. Please discuss the matter with our Volunteer Coordinator for advice.

Make sure you do not take into the prison anything on the Prohibited Items list (see below).  It is a good idea to get into the habit of physically checking all your pockets before entering the secure areas of the prison. 

The list of prohibited items changes from time to time so the list shown on this page may not be up to date, but there are copies on view as you enter the prison, and also on display in certain areas such as the male and female education departments.

You may be surprised that some seemingly innocuous substances such as chewing gum, blue-tack and magnets are prohibited, so do take care to study the list and keep up to date with its contents.

The rules prohibit most fitness trackers and other electronic gadgets such as smart watches.  If you want to wear a watch in the prison, make sure that it has no connectivity features.  Best of all is to choose an old-fashioned analogue watch. 

Taking a Prohibited Item into the prison (even by accident) may mean you are guilty of a criminal offence, and can have serious consequences.

Expand the following control to view the current list of Prohibited items.  You can also choose to print or download the document from the top toolbar of the viewer.

Please see further clarification on these prohibited items.

  • Ear bud/Airpods Earphones and headphones are not permitted in the prison, so either leave them  in your locker .
  • Metal cutlery The wooden cutlery in the canteen is not to everyone’s liking, but metal cutlery is a prohibited item so must not be brought in. If you do not like the wooden cutlery you can bring your own plastic items in with you to use, but not metal.
  • Glass containers If you would like to bring in coffee, hot chocolate etc for your work area, remember to make sure that it is in a plastic container, not a glass jar. Glass perfume bottles are also not permitted – remember that perfume is also alcohol-based so is a prohibited item.
  • Those who vape or smoke must leave these in their vehicle or in their locker if they travel by other means.


Click the button to read on and learn how you will get into the prison…


Skip to content