HMP Altcourse

Switchboard: 0151 522 2000

Safer Custody Helpline

Prisoners’ Families Helpline: 0808 808 2003


If you are enquiring to confirm if a friend or relative is within our custody then please email

Visiting the prison

Booking a visit – domestic visits (family and 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 three days in advance.

Prisoners can book up to three adult visitors per session and three 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 system. Please log on to and follow the instructions.

More information

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 at 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:

Two proof of address can include: (No more than six months old) 

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:

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 fingerprints taken. 

Booking a visit – legal/officials only

Our dedicated booking line is staffed: Monday to Friday between 8.30am-4.30pm.

Official visitors can book by phone or via email:

For non-confidential correspondence to your clients, you can take advantage of the system. Please log on to and follow the instructions.