Visiting Prison



0800 254 0088
North East, North West, South East, South West
19 Jul 2022


Who is the service for?
Young People (16-25), Families, Primary School (5-12), Secondary School (13-15)
What age range is it suitable for?
4 - 12, 13 - 16, 17 - 25, 26 - 29, 30 - 34, 35 - 39, 40 - 44, 45 - 49, 50 - 54, 55 - 59, 60 - 64, 65+


17 Gayfield Square, Bonnington, EDINBURGH, EH1 3NX
0131 557 9800




Visiting Times

Visiting times remain altered to reflect staffing arrangements and the impact of Covid 19 in each establishment. Consequently, visiting times may differ between establishments. Information regarding local visiting times and arrangements can be found at

If you have any symptoms of covid 19 then please do not visit the prison.

For other ways to keep in touch with someone in custody please see our Keeping in Touch page at

Public Health measures in place across the prison estate:

All the measures below remain under review and are subject to escalation should a local or national outbreak occur.

Face Masks/Coverings

Wearing of face masks in Scottish prisons and buildings is strongly encouraged however no longer mandatory, unless escalation measures are in place due to positive cases within a specific area.

Type II Fluid Repellent masks will continue to be made available to staff, visitors and those in custody to wear.


Hand sanitisers will be available both at the entrance to the prison and within the visit area. Where possible hand sanitiser will be available at the table, but where this is not possible, hand sanitiser dispensers will be in place within the visit area. Visitors will not be permitted to wear disposable gloves during their visit.

Social Distancing

Physical distancing is no longer required unless escalation measures are in place due to positive cases within a specific area.

Triage Questionnaire on arrival at the prison

All visitors on entry to a prison must complete a Covid 19 triage questionnaire. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, you will not be permitted to attend the visit. The questionnaire asks:

- Do you or any member of your household/family have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
- Are you or any member of your household/family waiting for a COVID-19 test result?
- Have you travelled internationally to any country which isn’t exempt from self-isolation rules in the last 10 days?
- Have you had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
- Have you tested positive for COVID in the last 10 days?
- Do you have any of the following symptoms? - high temperature or fever, new, continuous cough, loss or alteration to taste or smell

In all establishments, the Governor retains the autonomy to consider individual visits regimes and in some cases, individual prisons may need to re-introduce restrictions on visiting and social contact in response to local outbreaks of Covid 19, so check with the prison before travelling.

Families Outside will provide information through Twitter, Facebook and our Helpline if we become aware of significant outbreaks in prisons or restrictions on visits.

Preparing for a visit

Some people may find visiting a prison daunting. This can be especially true for children or those who have never visited a prison before. Families Outside have produced a booklet called My Visit: A photo guide which is designed to support children with what to expect when visiting a prison. Please see

Visitors’ Centres

The majority of prisons in Scotland now have a Visitors’ Centre service for family members visiting the prison. Visitors’ Centres are a vital service that:

- Improve the visits experience for people visiting their family member or loved one in prison by providing facilities and refreshments
provide families access to independent and impartial advice, information, and support; and
- Voice the needs of families affected by imprisonment to the Prison Service.

All Visitors Centres are operated by not for profit organisations, which are independent of the prisons they work alongside. Each centre is managed by friendly, professional staff who provide a welcoming, family-friendly area which can offer information, support, or help to families visiting the prison.

Families Outside provides the national coordinating role for Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland.

Please click on the relevant prison link at for more information on the Visitors’ Centre at that prison.

Further information can also be found on Twitter (@HMPJustVisiting) and Facebook (Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland)

Other Services Run By

Families Outside

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Registered Office: 525 Ferry Road, Edinburgh EH5 2FF