Visiting Prison

In person visits continue to go ahead in all prisons.

Number of visitors

At all prisons 3 visitors aged 12 and over can visit from two households. The third household is the person in prison.  Proof of address will be required.

Across the prison estate

  1. A maximum of 3 visitors are permitted to attend each visit, but there is no formal limit to the number of children under the age of 12 years old that can attend visits;
  2. Children under the age of 12 do not need to physical distance, however all those aged 12 and over do and as a result cannot hug. This is following advice from Public Health and Health Protection Scotland, classifying prisons has high risk environments;
  3. Every establishment has access to toilet facilities.
  4. Catering facilities are restricted at this time – check the relevant Q&A sheet for availability
  5. There may be variations to local arrangements, because of local circumstances, so please refer to the relevant Information for Families from the SPS Website.

In all establishments, Governor’s retain the autonomy to consider individual visits regimes.



Visiting Prison can be a daunting experience, especially for children.

Although all prisons are different we hope this walkthrough at HMP Grampian gives you an idea of what to expect.

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.

The visiting processes and services available for families change from prison to prison. For more information on visiting each prison, check out our Prison Information pages.

Prison Information

For more information about Prison Visitor Centres – please view the Scottish Prison Services website.

Nice to see a friendly face, and welcome. On the bus you are a person, in the jail you are a number. Good for visitors. Happy halfway house for me.

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