New rules to make visiting prison safer for children take effect in less than two months.

From 1 September, children under 16 will have to be approved before they can visit. This applies even if the child has visited a prison before.

How it works

A prisoner wanting visits from a child under 16 initiates the application process by talking to unit staff. As long as there are no Court Orders prohibiting contact, a Child Visitor Application Form will be sent to the child’s guardian to complete and return to the prison.

The form must be completed and returned before the application can be processed.

The application process is similar to the process used for adult visitors.

Visitor application forms are not available online. If you take a child to visit a prisoner, you can ask the prisoner if they have started the application process.

A last minute rush of applications could mean delays in approving child visitors, so the sooner applications are in the better.

Advising the decision

If the child is approved, the child’s guardian will receive a letter to confirm this. The letter must be brought to prison every time the approved child visits.

If the child is not approved, the guardian will receive a letter to advise them. If declined, the child cannot visit.