Visiting a prisoner – Going through security

After you sign in you will need to go through the prison
security screening process. If the reception area is busy you may need
to take a number and wait to be called. Most prisons provide a waiting area with toilets and a vending machine. Lockers are available in most prisons to
store personal items such as mobile phones and wallets
before entering the prison. When it is your turn
prison staff will take you through the security screening. This is a routine process which applies
to everyone who enters the prison including prison staff. You may be familiar with some of the procedures from airport security. Depending on the prison security level these procedures may include: an iris scan an x-ray scan of your property and the use of a metal or drug detector. Many prisons have passive alert drug detection dogs patrolling both inside the prison and in the car park. Make sure you have no prohibited items
either on your person or in your car. If there is reasonable cause staff may ask you to submit to a strip search. You have the right to refuse a strip search but if you do not submit you may be
banned from the prison for up to three months on the suspicion that you are carrying
contraband. Make sure you know what you can and can’t bring by watching the video on prohibited items or by calling the prison before you visit. Once you have passed through security you will be directed to the prison’s visiting area. In some circumstances you may have a non-contact or box visit. This means that you’ll be able to see
and speak to the prisoner but will not be able to have physical
contact with them.

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