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Prison Name
Ian Whitehead
Deputy Governor
Kenny McCaskill
81 Lee Avenue
G33 2QX

Barlinnie is a large local prison, receiving prisoners from the courts in the west of Scotland. The prison houses male offenders, remand and convicted who are serving less than 4 years.  There is also a national top end for offenders who are life sentence offenders approaching a potential release date. In recent years Barlinnie has taken prisoners from all over Scotland in order to facilitate the new building programme within the Scottish Prison Service.

Below are some statistics-

  • Average numbers in custody for 2013/2014 – 1305
  • Average 8,000 prisoner admissions per annum
  • Average 4,500 liberations per annum
  • Average 45,000 prisoner movements to Courts, transfers etc.
  • Average 3,600 prisoner visits per month
  • 6326 prisoner visitors per month
  • 1,143 legal agents visits per month

History -

1879    Purchase of the land.
1882    A Hall commissioned.
1883    B Hall commissioned.
1887    C Hall commissioned and old gate completed.
1888    House for chaplain and doctor built outside gate.
1890    Link corridor A, B, C halls were built.
1892    D Hall Commissioned
1893    Chapel completed and perimeter extended to build E Hall.
1896    E Hall completed
1908    Old sheds built with alterations to E Hall.
1933    Alterations to D hall and new office block built adjacent to the gate.
1939    Gymnasium and (old) Library built.
1949    Handicraft workshop built.
1951    Dining halls were built.
1954    Old visits room completed.
1955    Female block built (closure of Duke St).
1960    Reception area reconstructed and V.T. introduced.
1968    New sheds complete.
1972    Special Unit in Female block (until 1994).
1983    Segregation Unit complete.
1989    Observation bridges built.

If you need to contact the prison, here are some useful numbers- 

Main switch board   0141 770 2000

Family Contact Officer   0141 770 2037 (FCO - 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 we will get back to you as soon as possible).

Social Work Unit 0141 770 2123 

Chaplains 0141 770 2059

If sending a letter to a prisoner, put their name, prison number and location, followed by the postal address

e.g.    123456 S Smith
           1/15 E Hall
           H M Prison Barlinnie
           Lee Avenue
           G33 2QX


By car from the east
When travelling east on the M8 take exit at junction 12 Stepps and Riddrie. At the traffic lights turn right onto Cumbernauld Road (A80).  After the library take the 1st left onto Teith Street, left onto Smithycroft Road, then first right onto Lee Avenue where the prison is located. 

By car from the west
When travelling west on the M8 exit at Junction 12, Stepps and turn left onto Cumbernauld Road (A80).  After the library take the 1st left onto Teith Street, left onto Smithycroft Road, then first right onto Lee Avenue where the prison is located.

Visitors can use the car park on the left as they come up the driveway to the prison.  If there are no spaces in this car park then visitors will need to park on Smithycroft Road. The car park on the right is a restricted car park but the exception to this is at the weekend or in the evenings. Any person parked illegally will be asked to move their car.  Barlinnie operates an illegal parking system. There are a limited number of disabled parking spaces available.  Disable badges must be displayed. Visitors must not use the disabled parking bays unless they are displaying a current disabled parking permit/badge. 

By Train

Please note there are no direct train services to Barlinnie.  The nearest stations are at Alexandra Parade and Carntyne.  Please plan your journey and you can contact Network Rail on 08457 114 141 or for information.

By Bus

The most frequent bus to Barlinnie is the number 38.  This service is operated by First Glasgow from Eastwood Toll through to Garthamlock.  This service is especially useful for visitors using the rail network as it passes by both Queen Street and Central Stations based in Glasgow City Centre.  The number 38C bus also passes the prison. Before starting any journey you are advised to check with the local bus operators on 0141 423 6600 or

Please note that First Glasgow buses operate an exact fare policy.

For those unfamiliar with the exact location of the prison please exit the bus at Riddrie library and the cross the pedestrian crossing and walk up Lee Avenue, between the shops and the school.


Convicted offender's visits are booked by the offenders and it's their responsibility to inform their families/friends of the date and time. They are entitled to not less than 2 hours in any 28 day period.

Remand visits at Barlinnie are booked by prisoner's families, calling the direct booking line on
0141 770 2109 (Weekdays 9am to 2pm, 3pm to 8pm / Weekend 9am to 1pm). Remand prisoners may have one visit per day Monday to Friday, if a visit is not taken everyday 1 may be taken at the weekend.

Barlinnie Visit Timetable October 2015

Below is a list of identification requirements, the times of visits session, depending on the location of the offender, facilities and what you can expect coming to the prison. To gain access to the prison for the purpose of visiting, you must have two forms of identification, one of which must be photographic ID. Entry to the prison will not be permitted without acceptable identification.

The following examples shall be accepted as suitable for photographic ID purposes:

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

The following examples shall be accepted as suitable for proof of address provided it is less than 3 months old:

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

Official visitors require Identification cards. Agents are required to carry their Law Society of Scotland ID Cards.

Our family contact officers offer support and information to offender’s families. They provide guidance and advice relating to any concerns or issues you may have about your family member during their time in custody. There is a referral box located in the visitor’s waiting area or speak to us directly. 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.

The Croft Visitor Centre is located at in a local hall at the corner of Smithycroft Road and Cumbernauld Road, across the road from St. Thomas’ Primary School.  The staff are Michele, Catronia, Nancy and Liene and they there to help with general information and sign-posting.  They offer a drop in service and Citizens Advice Bureau surgery on Wednesday afternoons from 12:00–15:00, assistance with travel expenses and photographic ID, help visitors understand procedures and provide an information booklet.The Croft also has an information stand in Riddrie Library with leaflets, travel expenses and ID forms. If you would like to speak to someone, there is a contacts box in the library – staff will get back to you within 3 days.

Croft support staff are available at the prison in the Family Information Hub in the Waiting Area:

Monday OR Tuesday    12.15 – 14.30   (staff permitting evenings 16:30-19:45)
Wednesday                    10:30 14:30
Thursday                        16.30 – 19.45    (staff permitting afternoons 12:15-14:30)
Friday                              11.30 – 14.30    (staff permitting evenings 16:30-19:45)
Saturday OR Sunday    11.30 – 14.30

A contacts box for the Croft is available in the Atrium of the prison, Croft staff will get back to you within 3 working days.

Alternatively out with these times, they can be contacted on 0141 770 5694 (answer machine) or via email

On arrival at Barlinnie for a visit
There is a ramp for wheelchair access into the building and also a lift available to take visitors into the visit rooms. Everyone attending the prison for a visit must book in at the front desk, at least 15 minutes before the visit session starts.  This is to allow sufficient time to process your details.

On entering the main door of the prison, there is a front desk with prison officers staffing it.  You will be required to present your identification to the staff.  You will then be given a seat allocation for the visits room and then you will proceed to the visitors waiting area. In the visitor waiting area there is a crèche, toilet facilities, a baby changing area is available and an information hub.Only loose change (no notes) can be taken to the visit room. Everything else including outside clothing, bags and valuables must be deposited in a locker.

All visitors will be given a rub down search by a member of staff.  At times, there may be the SPS Dog Unit operating at the visits – it’s nothing to worry about and you will be given instructions by the staff.  If you have any concerns at all – please talk to a member of staff.

If you have a baby with you, you can take a baby bottle with milk – no baby food or glass jars are permitted. After a short time in the waiting area, you will be taken upstairs into the visit room where you will be directed to your seat. Visitors will be asked to take a seat and the prisoners will then be brought in.  The visit room has vending machines selling refreshments and confectionary. There is a play area is staffed by Toybox, a volunteer organisation and are open -

Tuesday/Thursday   12.55-15.40
Saturday                     10:00-12.45  13.50–16.00

Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday  18:15-21:00
Wednesday                                              17:00-21:00

Over and above normal visits entitlement Barlinnie runs Childrens Visits which are available to all prisoners and booked by them. These visits take place in a unique purpose built room, brightly coloured, cartoon themed room with a large soft play area, toys and library. The purpose of this visit is to encourage interaction and family bonding through play and activities.  Places are limited to 10 per session and offenders are allocated 1 per month.

Handing in Property
The offender will request from residential staff items that he wants handed in and a pro-forma will be completed. The offender will then send the pro-forma to the visitor and the visitor will bring in the items along with the pro-forma where they will checked when handed into the front desk. Only items on pro-forma will be accepted.
You can post in property for offenders, but the offender must have completed the pro forma prior to the items arriving.  Mark the parcel for the offender’s attention.

Posting in Property
You can post in property for offenders, but the offender must have completed the pro forma prior to the items arriving.  Mark the parcel for the offender’s attention.  To ensure the parcel arrives safely, you can send it recorded delivery (cost incurred at the post office).  

Handing in Money
You may deposit money for a prisoner at the cash desk located in the vestibule area. You are required to know the offenders full name and number and you will be issued with a receipt. There is a maximum limit of £50 for convicted offenders. There is no limit for remand prisoners, however large or irregular amounts of money will be reported to the appropriate authorities. Those handing in the cash will be asked to provide their name, address and relationship to the offender. We only accept cash.

Monday-Friday  9:00-20:00
Sat/Sun              9:30-12:00  13:00-16:00

Posting in Money
You can post money into an offender for their PPC, however we would strongly recommend either recorded/special delivery (costs incurred at the post office) when posting cash or you can post a cheque or postal order (again there is a cost incurred at the post office for the order) in.  Both of these should be made payable to the Scottish Prison Service, but please note the offender's details on the back of the order or cheque.

Visiting Times

Agent's Visits

Barlinnie provided a unique drop-in service 
at the following times;

Mon to Fri 8:30-15:15


All Halls

Mon  09:45-10:45 11:15-12:00
13:00-13:45 14:30-15:30
17:15-18:00 18:30-19:15 19:45-20:30 
Tues 09:45-10:45 11:15-12:00
13:00-13:45 14:30-15:30
17:15-18:00 18:30-19:15 19:45-20:30
Wed 09:45-10:45 11:15-12:00
13:00-13:45 14:30-15:30
17:15-18:00 18:30-19:15 19:45-20:30
Thur 09:45-10:45 11:15-12:00
13:00-13:45 14:30-15:30
17:15-18:00 18:30-19:15 19:45-20:30
Fri 09:45-10:45 11:15-12:00
13:00-13:45 14:30-15:30
17:15-18:00 18:30-19:15 19:45-20:30
Sat 10:15-11:00 11:45-12:30
14:15-14:45 15:15-15:45
Sun 10:15-11:00 11:45-12:30
14:15-14:45 15:15-15:45


Children's Visits

Mon  17:15-18:00 
Tues 17:15-18:00
Wed 17:15-18:00
Thur 17:15-18:00
Fri 17:15-18:00