Support for Visitors

Needing support?

Here’s a list of support agencies that you could make use of:


The Croft Support

Speak to someone – If you are stressed or unsure about visiting prison arrange to speak to one of our friendly staff.

Download Information Pack – This contains specialist information for visitors. If you need this pack translated into a different language contact us here.

The Croft works closely with other organisations who can support you either in your local community or in some cases at home. We also work with organisations who can help the person you’re visiting both whilst they’re in prison and when they’re released.

If you’d like more information about any of the organisations listed below – please get in touch.


Getting to the Prison and into a Visit

Travel Expenses: If you claim certain benefits and are a close relative or the only person who visits someone, you can claim for two visits per month.

Close relative:

  • Husband, wife or civil partner
  • Partner (living as a couple before the person went in to prison)
  • Parent or grand-parent (includes step-parent)
  • Son or daughter
  • Brother or sister (includes half-sibling or step-siblings)
  • Next of kin
  • Sole visitor (only visitor in the 4 weeks before a visit is claimed)

Eligible benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)
  • Universal Credit*
  • Working Tax Credits (with Disability or Child Tax)**
  • Child Tax Credits**
  • Pension Credit
  • Have an HC2 or HC3 Certificate

*Income limit £1,250 per month

**Income limit £17,474 per year

Get a Confirmation of Visit slip stamped on your way out of the prison. Apply online at  www.gov.uk/helpwithprisonvisits

You’ll need to upload photos of the claim form and travel receipts

If you  have problems with internet access, you can contact the Assisted Prison Visits Unit who manage the system and ask them for assistance 03000 632 100 – this can be expensive from mobiles or email assisted.prison.visits@noms.gsi.gov.uk.

Alternatively, speak with The Croft at the prison or contact us by email at help@barlinnievisitorscentre.org

Photographic ID: All adults need to bring photographic ID and a recent official letter with your address on it. You may be given up to 3 weeks to get photographic ID if this is your first ever visit. The Croft has a subsidised Citizen Card ID application form which they can send to you or you can pick up at the prison. Children aged under 16 need to be accompanied by and adult but they do not need to bring their own ID.

The prison accepts the following for photographic ID:

  • Valid Passport
  • Photographic Driving Licence
  • Citizen/Validate UK Card
  • Senior Citizens Bus Pass

The prison accepts the following for proof of address provided it is less than 3 months old:

  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Bank statement
  • Other letter from official source

Family Support

Families Outside The National Charity for Families Affected by Imprisonment in Scotland – Freephone Helpline 0800 254 0088

Family Contact Team: Family Contact Officers are prison officers who offer support and information to Families Affected By Imprisonment. They provide guidance and advice relating to any concerns or issues you may have about your family member during their time in HMP Barlinnie. The Family Contact Team offer a range of programmes and activities for prisoners and their families which include: family inductions; parenting courses; play and share visits; storybook dads and family events.

Family Contact Officers can be contacted on 0141 770 2037 (The phone is not staffed at all times during the day, but there is an answer machine service so please leave your name and contact details and they will get back to you as soon as possible)

Home Start Glasgow North & Home Start Glasgow South

Home Start support families who have at least one child aged under 5  wh are finding things difficult. They aim to increase confidence and independence in the families.

GAMH Young Carers Support young people aged 12-21 and who are caring for a family member with a mental health problem. They can give one-to-one support and also have groups for different ages of young people. They also have specific initiatives around areas such as emotional wellbeing and employability.


Money and Benefits

Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Parkhead Help people to solve problems around money, employment and consumer issues. Parkhead Bureau covers HMP Barlinnie and advisers can speak with families and people in prison.


Mental Health

Mental Health Advocacy  Advocacy workers support people with mental health issues who are in prison or hospital.


Housing and Homelessness

Simon Community Scotland  Provide advice and support on housing and homelessness.


Prison Facilities and Information for Prisoners

First Time Inside: support for people before they go in to prison.

Prison Education – people in prison can access courses in the Prison Link Centre, the person in prison needs to ask prison staff about this.

Several organisations have information for people in prison and people with convictions:

Inside Time The National Newspaper for people in prison and detention

The Hardman Directory   A free online directory of funding for people in prison and people with convictions for personal development and resettlement – there may be a copy in the prison library

Unlock A charity for people with convictions, they have information, a helpline and an online magazine and forum.


Throughcare for Prisoners

Throughcare Support Officers – these are prison officers who work with men being released to Glasgow postcodes and who do not have addiction issues. They usually start working with the person 6 weeks before their release date.

The Wise Group Mentors people coming out of prison, helping them to register with a GP, manage their money and other practical and emotional support around being back in the community.

Simon Community Scotland  Can support people with housing problems, before and after they leave prison. They also have a drop in Advice Hub in Glasgow.