Q: My son is in prison. I haven’t spoken to him since he was arrested two years ago because I was so angry with him. However, I am not in good health and I think I should try and make the peace with him while I still can. I have decided therefore that I would like to go and see him. I believe I have to get a Visiting Order to do that. Please can you tell me the procedure for getting one?
A: You can only visit a prisoner if they have put you on their visitor list. As your son will not be expecting you to visit it is unlikely that you will be on his visitor list. For you to visit he would need to fill in a Visiting Order (VO) with your details and send it to you. Perhaps you could write to him in prison and request that he does that?
Once you are on the visiting list the prison will contact you. In most cases nowadays you can make a request to visit through the national online booking system, otherwise you will need to contact the prison direct by telephone to arrange a visit. You will need to provide your son’s prison number, date of birth and also your own date of birth.
Remand prisoners do not usually need a VO but you should check with the prison. If your son is in a lower category prison (C/D) he may be able to book the visit internally and then inform you of the arrangements. If you are booking online you may not need a VO, but if you do get one you should read all the information on it as it is important, and remember to take it with you when you visit or you will not be allowed in.