We hope you find the visits section of this web site helpful. The information has been made readily available in order to ensure that visitors arriving at HMP Altcourse are able to enjoy their visit, and gain the maximum benefit from it.
The environment in which all visits are held is important and to ensure they are stress free experiences, every effort is made to explain procedures clearly and reasons for decisions clarified. While security is a major consideration in relation to visits a relaxed atmosphere prevails when the clearly specified rules of conduct and behaviour are observed by prisoners and their visitors.
FRIENDS & FAMILY VISITS
At HMP Altcourse we understand that it is constructive for prisoners and their family and friends to have the opportunity to retain close relationships and family ties whilst in our custody. We realise that prisons can be intimidating places for visitors who have never experienced the visiting process and particularly stressful and exhausting for young children who accompany their parents when undergoing the necessary entry and exit procedures.
We therefore aim to ensure that all visits to HMP Altcourse are conducted in a professional yet relaxed atmosphere and that all visitors are treated courteously and politely.
BOOKING A VISIT - DOMESTIC VISITS (Family & Friends)
Prisoners are responsible for booking their own visits; this is done by using an application on the Central Management System (CMS) – accessed via touchscreen computer terminals that are located on each unit in the establishment. Once a visit has been approved it is up the individual prisoner to inform his family and friends of the date and time of the visit.
- The maximum time a visit can be booked is 14 days in advance and the minimum is 3 days in advance.
- Prisoners can book up to 3 adult visitors per session and 3 children less than 18 Years of age. However, if the child is over 17 they will be classed as an adult.
- It is the responsibility of the prisoner to book and inform friends and family of the time and date of visits.
- Staff are not responsible for booking or informing family and friends of visits or cancellation of visits.
- It is also the responsibility of the prisoner to inform visitors of correct identification requirements as well as other visit regulations, however visitors are encouraged to check the website for further details.
For sending correspondence / emails to your family or friend in prison, you can take advantage of the emailaprisoner.com system. Please log on to https://www.emailaprisoner.com and follow the instructions.
DOMESTIC VISITORS IDENTIFICATION
All visitors to closed prisons, both Adults and Children, whether visiting for social or official purposes must be required to prove their identity on Reception. (Children’s birth certificates are suitable to prove the name and date of birth).
Two separate forms of up-to-date identification will be required to gain entry to the prison, including one photographic identification and two proof of address:
ACCEPTABLE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION:
Driving Licence - Acceptable on its own if photograph and the address matches the address provided by the prisoner on CMS.
Passport - Including foreign passports and time expired passports where the photograph is still recognisable.
Bus Pass (elderly only) - Must have been issued by the Local Authority. Photograph must match.
Student / Employers I.D. - Must clearly show the name of the visitor and educational establishment / employer. Photograph must match.
Citizen Card - A Citizen Card is an official UK ID / proof of age card recognised as such by the Home Office. Obtained online. A Standard application costs £15 and takes 21 days (card posted by Royal Mail 2nd class); an Urgent application costs £30 and takes 1-2 workingdays (subject to verification; card posted by Special Delivery guaranteed Next Day by 1pm). you can find out more at www.citizencard.com. Must be official, the photograph must match.
Two Proof of address can include: (No more than 6 Months old)
- Utility bill
- Benefit book / Letter
- Council tax/tax credit award
- Household bill or statement with the address on
For other forms of ID that may be acceptable please ensure you contact the prison Visits Booking line for advice.
If a visitor is unable to produce ID as above, staff may accept combinations of two or more of the following below, but must also include two proof of addresses:
- ‘Birth/marriage certificate
- ‘Rail or bus pass with photo
- ‘Cheque book or credit/debit card (counts as one, do not accept as two)
- ‘Employer’s pass or ID or student ID card not acceptable under paragraph 2
- ‘Young person’s ‘proof of age’ card
- ‘Trade Union or National Students’ union membership card
- ‘Library card, if it has a signature that can be compared with the visitor’s signature
- ‘Rent book
- ‘Foreign identity or resident’s card (other than EC ID cards acceptable in their own right)
- ‘Expired documents from the above lists that appear satisfactory in other ways
- ‘ID Card from Prison Visitors Organisations
You may be refused entry if you do not have sufficient ID. This will be decided by the Visits Manager on duty. The Director has the discretion to accept any form of identification that clearly identifies the visitor in a satisfactory way.
Having had ID checked all visitors will have their photograph taken, fingerprints and hand stamped with UV ink.
All adults and children over 10 years of age will have their finger-prints taken.
BOOKING A VISIT - LEGAL/OFFICIALS ONLY
Our dedicated booking line is staffed:Monday to Friday between 0830-1630 hrs.
Official visitors can book by phone or via email.
All requests for use of legal visits booths at the prison should ideally be made through the email booking system. Simply email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your email must state the full name of the prisoner, their number and date of birth. Please also include your organisation/company name, along with the full name(s) and date of birth of those who wish to attend, on what date and session.
You will receive a booking confirmation email from us, within 24 hours of your request. Email requests sent to us over the weekend or on Bank Holidays will be processed on the next working day.
For non-confidential correspondence to your clients, you can take advantage of the emailaprisoner.com system. Please log on to https://www.emailaprisoner.com/ and follow the instructions.
LEGAL VISITORS IDENTIFICATION
The forms of identification set out below are acceptable. If the visitor does not possess such identification then the forms of identification for social visitors are also acceptable. If in doubt, Visits staff may telephone the visitor’s employer (e.g. solicitors office, barrister’s chambers, probation department) to check the visitor is bona fide. Get the telephone number from the phone book or direct enquiries, not from the visitor.
- Members of either House of Parliament: Houses of Parliament ID card.
- Legal Advisers: identity card issued by firm/ chambers, or introductory letter on headed letter paper of firm/chambers.
- Police, Immigration and Customs Officers: warrant card.
- Probation Officers: probation department ID card.
- Staff from other prisons, HQ or Home Office Staff: prison service security pass or home office pass.
- Consular Officials: consular ID card.
- Other public officials: departmental or local authority pass or ID card (but only if it shows the name of the visitor and the name of the department or local authority).
- Social workers: identification cards.
- Researchers: Security Photo pass or official letter (visits must be pre-arranged) and
- NHS: photographic identification badge/card. Independent sector healthcare photographic identification badge/card.
Visitors will need to arrive at the visits centre at least one hour prior to the visiting time in order to be processed in time for the visit to commence.
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BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 12.15pm
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 14:15hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 17:00hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 08:15hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 08:15hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 10:00hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 10:00hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 12:45hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 13:00hrs
BOOKING - VISITORS TO BOOK IN 14:30hrs
On arrival Legal Visitors do not need to go to the Visits Centre. Report directly to the main reception with your ID.
Visits Staff retain discretion to accept any other forms of identification, singly or in combination, that clearly identify the visitor in a satisfactory way.
PROHIBITED ITEMS & DRESS CODE
WHAT TO EXPECT
Please be aware that any abusive behaviour will not be tolerated towards members of Visits Staff within the Visitor’s Centre or the Prison itself. Abusive behaviour could result in a Cancelled Visit and/or a Visitor ban.
All visitors to HMP Altcourse are searched on entry to the prison. Consent to being searched is a precondition of entry into any G4S prison, and notices to this effect can be seen displayed in the entrance to the prison.
Searching will be carried out with due regard for the dignity of the individual and his/her possessions. Manual searching by staff will be supplemented by the use of metal detection equipment, drug detection dogs and equipment, and CCTV surveillance. Children under ten years of age will always be searched by female members of staff. Arrangements for the searching of infants will specifically require the parent or carer to observe the process.
HMP Altcourse operates a zero tolerance policy to drug trafficking through the Visits department in order to maintain the Safety of Prisoners, Visitors and Staff. CCTV monitoring is in place in the visits department and any persons who are caught passing any unauthorised articles will receive a ban from the establishment and prosecution from the Police under the Prison Act 1952.
Once searching has been completed, all visitors will then move to the Visits Hall. Please be aware that CCTV is in operation in the Visits Hall. Explicit sexual, indecent or other antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated and contravention of these rules may result in early termination of the Visit in the Visits Hall.
Visitors will be identified on entrance to the Visits Hall. You will be allocated a pre-selected Table Number or Booth. Visitors sit on one side of the table.
When the Visits is completed, Visitors will be asked to remain seated in the Visits Hall until all the Prisoners have been accounted for and have left the Visits Hall.
On exiting the Visits Hall, Visitors will be identified by fingerprint, UV Stamp and Wrist Band prior to leaving the Visits Hall building. Whilst being escorted out of the prison, visitors are reminded they are not permitted to approach any of the security-fenced areas.
The Visits Hall is designated a non-smoking area in the interests of public health. Signs to this effect will be prominently displayed. No tobacco products should be carried into visits by prisoners or visitors.
Drug and explosive detection equipment will be deployed in the Visitor Entrance Search Area, supplemented by periodic use of passive drug detection (‘sniffer’) dogs.
HANDING IN OF PROPERTY & MONIES
Visitors can hand Property in to the Visitor Centre between 9:30-10:30 and 14:00-15:15 Monday to Friday. On condition that an ‘Application to Hand In Property’ must have been completed by the prisoner at least 48 hours in advance, and agreed by Reception. Please check with the prisoner prior to bringing property. Visitors must provide photographic ID. Electrical items cannot be handed in at any time.
On first arrival a Prisoner is allowed two allocations of property on separate dates. Following this property can only be handed in on a 6 monthly basis. The amount / volume of Clothing a Prisoner can have in Prison is restricted.
An initial example guide of restrictions: 15 x Tops (No hoods), 7 x Bottoms, 3 x Footwear, 3 x Shorts, 1 x Coat (not black /padded or hooded). 2 x Pyjamas, 1 x Slippers, 1 x Sliders / Flips Flops and a selection of Underwear / socks. (As of 30/06/20)
Items cannot be handed in without prior approval and no electrical items can be handed in.
Money/Cheques/Postal Orders cannot be handed in at the Outside Visitor Centre.
Property can now be posted in – either within the first 14 days or following an approved application. All property must have a return address.
The only way to send money in is via a secure website: https://www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money
FACILITIES FOR CHILDREN
If you are bringing babies or small children into the prison and require a pram/stroller, we will provide one for your use during your visit. Your own pram/stroller will be placed into the storage area until after the visit.
There are indoor and outdoor children’s play areas in the Outside Visitor’s Centre. Baby changing facilities are available in both the Visitor’s Centre and the Visits Hall. A private breastfeeding room is also available in the Visits Hall.
There is a children’s play area in the Main Visits Hall, this is staffed by two Play Area Coordinators. The area is open on all occasions when visits are running in the hall. Children must be 2 years of age to enter. There are two lounges in the Main Visits Hall that are used for specialised family visits.
To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable visit we ask that parents take responsibility for their children at all times. Children frequently find difficulty in coping with prison visiting, play facilities are therefore provided in HMP Altcourse for children both in the Visitors’ Centre and within the Visits Hall.
ASSISTED PRISON VISITS
If you visited a family member, partner or someone who does not get other visitors you might be able to get help paying for:
- Travel to the prison
- Overnight Accommodation
You must be getting certain benefits or have a health certificate to get help. If you take a child with you or someone to help you (for example because you’re disabled) you might also be able to get help paying for their visit. Ask the Visits Centre Staff who will be happy to give information and guidance. Or visit the website: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-prison-visits or Telephone ‘Help With Visits’: 0300 063 2100. The expenses must be paid first, and then claimed back from the Assisted Prison Visits Unit.
GETTING TO US
Address: HMP Altcourse, Brookfield Drive, Fazakerley, L9 7LH
From Liverpool City Centre station Paradise Street bus interchange or Queens Square to Fazakerley Hospital or Longmoor Lane. Allow for at least 45 minutes to make this journey.
Details of coach services to HMP Altcourse Fazakerley Liverpool can be found on the national express website: visit:https://www.nationalexpress.com/
Arrive at Liverpool Central Station in the city centre, then take the Northern Line Kirkby train to Fazakerley Station. Approximately 20 minutes. Exit the station and turn left onto the main road, Longmoor Lane, until reaching traffic lights. Turn right onto Lower Lane (signposted Fazakerley Hospital), past the hospital on the right and at the next traffic lights turn right into Brookfield Drive. HMP Altcourse is approx. 1/4 mile on your right.
For up to date travel information on trains and buses website visit: https://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/
From the M57– exit at Junction 4, join the A580 (East Lancs Road). Go past the Showcase Cinema on you left, then turn right at the next traffic lights. Go past the Police Station on the left and turn left at the next lights. The prison is ¼ of Mile on the right. Allow 10 minutes from M57.
From Liverpool City Centre / M53 / Tunnels – Follow the signs for the A59 and signs for Liverpool Anfield and Everton Football Clubs, keeping on A59 towards Everton Valley / Walton Lane. Keep right. Go up the hill,keep on the road past Stanley Park on the right. Past EFC ground. Continue to the A580 Walton Hall Avenue. Past Walton Hall Park on the left and under the bridge. In 1.5 miles take next left at lights on to B5187 Stop Gate lane. Continue and take right after ‘Jacobs factory’ on the Brookfield Drive. The prison is ¾ mile on the left. Allow 30 minutes from Liverpool.