Visiting someone in prison

Prison visits are an important part of helping prisoners to stay in contact with their families and friends.

In-person visits have resumed in Northern Ireland prisons.  To ensure the safety of everyone during the pandemic some changes have been made.  More information, including how to book a visit, can be found at https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/socially-distanced-visitsVirtual visits will continue and remain the preferred option during Covid-19.

Virtual visits during COVID-19

To help people in custody to stay in contact with their friends and families the Prison Service has launched virtual visits. 

A virtual visit means you will be able to make contact with relatives in prison custody through video calls.

How to arrange a virtual visit

A virtual visit, lasting up to 20 minutes, can be booked by a family member using a personal computer, iPad or smartphone, and through a secure video-link prisoners and their families are able to see and speak with each other.

The person in prison will be given a booking reference which they will pass on to you before you book the visit by telephoning the prison Visits Booking Office. 

You will need to provide an email address at the time of the booking to receive a user guide and the instructions for connecting.

This is a new service and during the initial period there may be a significant volume of calls or some unexpected issues.  The Prison Service would ask for your patience at this challenging time. 

Booking a visit

The prisoner will have been given a booking reference which they will pass on to you before you book the visit by telephoning the prison Visits Booking Office.

If you have a reference number and would like to book a virtual visit call:

  • Maghaberry Prison: 028 9261 4029
  • Magilligan Prison: 0300 200 7866
  • Hydebank Wood College: 028 9049 4333

Inappropriate behaviour

All virtual visits are supervised and any behaviour, language or actions which are inappropriate will see the virtual visit terminated.

Support for families during COVID-19  

Support is available for families and their loved ones in custody during the coronavirus. Information for families during the coronavirus pandemic sets out how people in custody are kept safe and how families can remain in contact with someone in prison.

It also provides practical help including phone numbers and how to access virtual visits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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