Visiting Prison

Please be aware that current COVID guidance may affect some of this information. For further information please visit the SPS Website.

Please click on the prison you would like to visit to see the specific guidance.

We will continue to provide updates through our website, but if you have specific questions or concerns, please contact our Helpline.


Changes to Virtual Visits – 23 March 2021

  1. For Visitors – When requesting a visit, the visitor can now include comments regarding the booking in a comments box which will be seen by the visit staff as they deal with the booking.
  2. For Staff and Visitors – If a request for a visit is being rejected by staff there is now a drop down lists with the reason for the request being rejected, which is included in the email to the customer, a reason needs to be selected in order to proceed.
  3. For Staff – When a visit is being terminate by the observing officer, the system will now ask for a reason why from a drop down list.



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.

Prison visits are an important way for families to stay in contact while a family member is in prison. All Scottish prisons offer regular visiting opportunities for families to visit their loved ones in prison, and most offer special events and family days around holiday periods and throughout the year.

Find out more about Visiting someone in a Scottish Prison.

Special visits are available for children visiting their parents in prison. These visits offer children an opportunity to spend time with their parents in a more relaxed environment than a normal prison visit.  Find out more about Children’s visits.

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.

The Family Help Hub was awarded to me as part of my re-integration to the community. I spent a period of time on placement maintaining the garden area. I was, much to my surprise, accepted and trusted by staff/volunteers without question. It was very apparent to me from the offset that my past di...

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