Visiting someone in prison
COVID-19 visiting restrictions
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all physical visits to prisoners have been temporarily suspended. Physical visits have been replaced with electronic visits via internet platforms such as videolink and video phones.
The Irish Prison Service has installed video phones in all locations across the prison estate to help prisoners keep in touch with their families.
More information on how a family member receives a video call is available on the Irish Prison Service's website.
You can also send money electronically to prisoners' accounts through bank transfer. The Irish Prison Service has also collaborated with An Post to launch a new BillPay service, which you can use to pay money at the counter of any post office for the benefit of your relative in prison.
More information on how to lodge money to a Prisoner account through your post office is available on the Irish Prison Service's website.
Visiting someone in prison
If a member of your family is in prison, visits can help you keep in touch. You can also keep in touch by letter and your family member can contact you by telephone.
Generally, a prisoner is asked to nominate up to 6 people who may visit them. If you are not on the list you will not be able to visit.
There are rules about how many visits a prisoner is allowed and how the visits are conducted.
The names and details of all visitors are recorded, particularly young people under the age of 18 whose full name, date of birth, address and relationship to the prisoner should be included. All visits must be booked in advance on the prison telephone booking line. For some prisons you can book a visit online or in person at the visitors centre.
You should make sure that you have the right form of identification with you when visiting your family member. A current passport or driving licence would be suitable. If you do not have either, you should check what else would be acceptable when booking your visit.
No more than 3 adults can come on a visit at the same time so make sure that no one else is visiting your family member on the same day. Generally, there is no limit on the number of children, but this can vary from prison to prison. Anyone under 18 years must usually be accompanied by an adult.
If you want to take things in for your family member, you must check what is allowed with the prison in advance. Anything you take in must be handed to the officer in charge of visits.
You cannot bring a mobile phone into the prison. Visitors are required to deposit their phones and any personal items in the area provided at the visitors centre before entering the prison.
Information on what to expect when visiting is available on the Irish Prison Service website.
Where to apply