Visiting the prison


Addiewell Visit Room - physically distanced

Important update - Friday 11 September

Following revised Scottish Government guidelines, from Monday 14 September members from one household only (maximum of three people) are permitted to attend a social visit in HMP Addiewell.

We are constantly reviewing our procedures and continue to work closely with SPS to ensure that we are offering you the best possible visit experience during these challenging times. Further information on what to expect is provided below.

Protective measures are in place to ensure your safety and we request that you follow the guidance provided by our staff and also that which is included on the posters in and around the prison entrance.

Visiting HMP Addiewell

We understand that visiting a prison can be quite daunting, especially if it is your first visit, so we try to make your experience as positive as possible. 

There is a visitors’ centre upon entry to Addiewell and this is run in partnership with the Cyrenians, offering support for those who are visiting relatives and friends in prison.

There is full wheelchair access to the visits hall and disabled toilet facilities.

Any visitors aged 17 years or under must be accompanied by an individual of at least 18 years of age. Any visitors under the age of 17 must have appropriate identification.

Security: As you would expect, security is a major consideration for us, so all visitors are required to comply with our rules of conduct and behaviour. 



What to expect

Guidelines of what to expect when visiting HMP Addiewell.

To ensure that we provide the most robust and streamlined service possible, and to enhance our searching process, we  ask that all visitors (including children) remove everything from their pockets and place these items in the red trays provided. Lockers are provided for visitors to store unauthorised items. All authorised items including money, jewellery, belts, watches and locker keys must be put through the x-ray machine. You may also be asked to remove your footwear.

On a first visit, visitors should bring approved identification (listed below) to register on the electronic system. This records visitor’s photos and finger scan image.

Therefore you should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your first visit, to allow time to register. Once you are on the system, the process for future visits will be quicker, but if you can let us know if you are ever running late, we may be able to accommodate the visit.

On a first visit, visitors will be required to show:

Photographic ID

One of:

  • Driving licence, or
  • Valid passport, or
  • Citizen’s card, or
  • Bus pass (credit card style) or Disabled car badge
  • Young Scot Card (with visible hologram)

Visitors must also provide proof of their address, which must be less than three months old:

  • Utility bill (gas, electricity, telephone etc)
  • Bank or building society document
  • Headed letters (doctor, dentist etc)

If photographic identification is not provided, the Operations SPCO/Manager will be contacted for advice.

Children will not be registered on this system, however names and dates of birth of all children must be recorded on the booking.

While we recognise that visits, at times, can be highly emotive, our staff and visitors’ centre staff are there to support you but any aggressive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. For security reasons, you may be refused entry to the open visits facility and instead offered a closed visit.

New guidance for those visiting while during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before your visit

  • We can only allow a maximum of 3 visitors per visit. This can be made up of:
    • 1 adult and 2 children
    • 2 adults and 1 chilren
    • 3 adults
    • 2 adults
    • 1 adult
  • In-line with Health Protection Scotland advice, those accommodated in a residential setting, including a prison, cannot form a ‘household bubble’ with anyone from out with the prison setting. From Monday 14 September, this means only 2 households can be involved in a visit:
    • The resident (considered one household)
    • A maximum of 3 visitors – from Monday 14 September, all visitors must be from the same household. Your ID will be checked to confirm this – if your address has changed since you last visited HMP Addiewell, you will need to have ID with you to prove that you are from the same address – it needs to be photographic ID with your address, including the postcode. These must be less than three months old.
  • When you arrive at the prison, all visitors (adults and children) will have their temperature taken using a non-contact thermometer and you will be asked questions regarding Covid-19 symptoms. This is to check that you are well and can be allowed in for the visit. Anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 will not be allowed to enter the prison. If you are from an area that is subject to a government lockdown, you will not be allowed to enter the prison.
  • You will be required to wear a face covering from the time you arrive at the prison and while walking to and from the visits hall. If you wish you may remove this whilst seated at the table. If you do not have a face covering, you will be provided with one by the prison. Failing to wear a face covering will result in you being refused entry. Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face covering.
  • You will need to adhere to the 2 metre physical distancing guidance. This means between you and your loved one. To help you the table and chairs have been set out and clearly marked detailing the distance required. At the visits table, the following applies:
    • Anyone age 12 and over must be 2-metres from each other if they are from different households.
    • Children under 12 do not need to physically distance with anyone at the table, including the resident. However, to keep everyone safe, we would recommend following the physical distancing guidelines at all times.
  • Hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser are available on entry, exit and throughout the visits area. Please feel free to use this as often as you would like. Good hand hygiene helps to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
  • We are not accepting any property or money for a resident at the prison. This is to ensure we minimise the spread of the virus. You can still post it in for them, then they can collect if from reception.
  • Please make sure you arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled visit start time in order to enable us to undertake the necessary procedures to ensure that your visit starts on time. Please note that we do not have a visit waiting area in use and you will therefore not be allowed to enter the prison more than 20 minutes before the start of your visit.

During your visit

  • You will not be allowed to make any contact with the resident you are visiting. That includes no kissing, no hugging, no holding hands and so on. However, aligned to the Scottish Government guidelines, children under 12 do not need to physically distance with anyone at the table, including the resident. We know this will be very hard but we must obey the government guidance to keep you and your loved ones safe.
  • All visitors, adults and children, will be required to remain seated throughout your visit. You won’t be allowed to move any tables or chairs. Play areas are also closed.
  • The shop will be closed but you will be provided with an individual refreshment pack free of charge for your own use – including juice, biscuits and sweets. You are not allowed share this or bring any food or drink in with you.
  • Toilet facilities will be available, but they will be running on a strict one-in, one-out policy.

Visiting times

Details about the social (friends and family) visiting times allowed at HMP Addiewell.

Social visits are currently offered across seven sessions per day.

Monday to Friday Saturday & Sunday

09:00 - 10:30

09:30 - 11:00

09:30 - 11:00

10:00 - 11:30

10:45 - 12:15

11:15 - 12:45

13:15 - 14:45

13:30 - 15:00

13:30 - 15:00

14:00 - 15:30

15:15 - 16:45

15:15 - 16:45

15:30 - 17:00

15:30 - 17:00 

Visits will last for 90 minutes and we will review this in consultation with our residents and visitors after a month. We cannot offer longer visits at this time, partly because we need to allow sufficient time for appropriate cleaning to be carried out between visits sessions and to ensure everyone has an opportunity for a visit in a calendar month.

How to book a family / friends visit

Details about How to book a family / friends visits to HMP Addiewell.

Convicted residents at HMP Addiewell can book their own visits using technology on the wings.

For those on remand, they can also book their own visits but have to give at least 24 hours notice.

Alternatively, visitors can book remand visits (allowing 24 hours notice) using the dedicated phone line: 01506 874 500 and select option two (open Monday – Friday 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm).

When phoning the visits booking number visitors should know the individual’s name, number, date of birth, the date and time of the required visit and details of who is visiting.

Visitors will need to provide names, dates of births and addresses.

How to hand in property

Instructions and guidelines for visitors wishing to hand in property to HMP Addiewell residents.

Residents must first complete a property form if they would like a family member or friend to hand in property. This will then need to be approved by staff before you can hand it in.

Once property is handed in it will be processed as soon as possible and will be in the possession of the resident within five days.

Please note that property can only be handed in during visit times.

You can also post in property for residents at your own expense, but again this must have prior approval in order for this to be accepted and you must mark the parcel for the individual’s attention with their date of birth and prisoner number clearly displayed.

How to hand in money

Guidance for those wishing to give money to residents of HMP Addiewell.

Cash handed in at the property desk can only be done during visiting times.

A maximum of £50 can be handed in.

Residents can also be sent money (we advise sending recorded delivery), postal orders or cheques. Cheques will be banked by finance department and can take up to 10 working days to clear.

Family Information Sessions

Our family information session here at HMP Addiewell gives you the opportunity to come along to an informal information session.

This consists of:

  • A one hour free visit as normal in the main visit hall.
  • Followed by a presentation to you and your relative by one of our family information team.

This gives you more of an insight into what happens within the prison i.e. prison regime, work/education/healthcare/liberation process etc. Information will be given explaining what support is available to you and your relative while they are in custody. This will also give you the chance to ask any questions and highlight any concerns that you may have.

Speak to staff for an application form.

How we collect and use your data


In order to facilitate your visit to one of our prisons and to ensure that we deliver appropriate levels of security and safety and prevent crime, for identification purposes we shall collect your name, date of birth, address, a biometric template of your fingerprint and a photograph. A series of reference points from a finger print are collected, allowing a unique identification pattern. We do not collect or hold actual fingerprints.

Our prisons operate CCTV and staff may wear Body Worn Video Recording Equipment. We do not collect biometric readings or photographs of children under 16, however with the use of CCTV, images may routinely be captured.


We will only share your information with a third party where there is a legal obligation to do so.


You have legal rights in connection with personal information. Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing.
  • Object to processing of your personal information by us or on our behalf in certain situations.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.


We keep personal data in accordance with our clients’ and Sodexo’s retention procedures. These retention periods depend on the nature of the information (e.g. we apply different retention periods to different type of information such as CCTV and your visitor record), and may be subject to change.

If you have any questions or concerns about how long we retain your personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer using the details below.


To exercise your rights, you can contact us by writing to us at the following address: or email the Global Data Protection Office at the following email address: stating your surname, first name and the reason for your request. We will most likely ask you for additional information in order to identify you and to enable us to deal with your request

You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office and file a complaint. (

HM Prison Addiewell
Station Road
EH55 8QF

Keeping in touch


We encourage you to keep in touch via telephone, using the 'email a prisoner' service and by letter. We have added additional credit to PIN phone accounts to help you keep in touch while we are unable to offer the full visits service. We also offer the opportunity to participate in video calls and information about this is on our website.

Family and friends can use the Government 'Send money to someone in prison' service, which enables family and friends to send money to a resident free of charge using a debit card. Visit to find out more. You will need the resident's prison number and date of birth.

Cyrenians Visitor Centre

We are still able to support families and individuals can contact our staff at any time by email or phone ( or 07522 907329). Our staff will respond to all messages and email remotely during core hours 12.30 - 4.30pm (Tuesday - Sunday). The Visitor Centre landline is also being re-directed to this mobile number.

We will endeavour to provide ongoing remote phone/digital assistance in this way and we are constantly reminding families of the various ways they can maintain contact with their loved ones during this very difficult time. We are in communication with Sodexo staff and have set up a regular Q and A opportunity to help answer queries from families and, where possible, allay their fears.

Family Information Team