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In this


Prison Name
Andy Hodge
Deputy Governor
Forbes McKillop
3 Edinburgh Road

Perth is a large community facing prison receiving prisoners predominantly from courts in Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Angus and Fife. The current design capacity is over 630 and we hold on average 678 prisoners per day. The prison manages adult male individuals on remand, short term sentences (serving less than 4 years), long term sentences (serving 4 years or more), life sentence prisoners, sexual offenders and extended sentence prisoners (Order of Life Long Restrictions).


Perth was built on land purchased from the Moncrieff family, under the direction of Robert Reid (1774-1856) between 1810 and 1812 by French Napoleonic Prisoners of War. During that time it was used as a depot for some 7000 offenders from the War. During their captivity in Perth Depot they were relatively well treated. The offenders would make dolls from straw and carve beautiful ornaments from animal bones which sell to the people of Perth at a market held every Wednesday at the Depot. French Officers were usually 'paroled' into the City and would stay with local families. They had to sign a promise that they would not try to run away, indeed, the few that did escape back to France were sent back by their own side to ensure that the conditions of parole were maintained on both sides of the Channel. All of the French prisoners were repatriated after the Battle of Waterloo on 1815 and thousands of Perth people turned out to wave them off! 


Between 1815 and 1839 the depot was used as a military store for uniforms and weapons. In 1839 it was decided to build a central civilian prison on the site of the Perth Depot. The first phase, C Hall, was completed in 1840 and became The General Prison at Perth. It is the oldest occupied prison in Scotland.

In 1870 the prison had the dubious distinction of being the site of Britain’s first private (or non public) execution when George Chalmers, a vagrant from Braco, was hanged within its walls after public executions were abolished in 1868.

The General Prison gained further notoriety around 1914 as the only prison with the facilities to force feed hunger striking suffragettes.

The prison was partially closed between the years 1922 & 1927 when it was used solely as a reception for adult males before they were sent "up the river" to Dundee Prison. Perth fully reopened after Dundee prison closed in 1927.

The prison’s B Hall was demolished in 1948 after a major fire and later the cookhouse was built on the site. The central tower was removed c1965.

A new purpose built execution shed was completed in 1965. Known as the Hanging Block, it was never used as the Murder Act 1965 abolished Capital Punishment for the crime of murder. It was subsequently used as offices and a training facility until it’s demolition in 2006. 

There was very little refurbishment or improvement made to the prison until 1996 when 'D' hall was closed for a complete upgrade. From 1996 the prison was in a constant state of upgrade. The most recent refurbishment was carried out in three stages over five years and was completed in 2007 making HMP Perth a modern, fit for purpose facility.

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

Main switch board   01738 622 293

Family Contact Officer   01738 637 198 (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).

Visitors Centre   01738 625 503 (located near the main entrance to the prison)


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

e.g.    123456 S Smith
           B Hall 1/11
           H M Prison Perth
           3 Edinburgh Road
           PH2 8AT


If you are writing to your client, the Scottish Prison Service considers that it is necessary that you adopt the “double envelope” process as recommended by the Law Society. It is the experience of the Scottish Prison Service that adopting this process ensures that your client receives his or her correspondence unopened and assists in mitigating the abuse of the right to receive such correspondence in this way. If you require further information you can contact us as follows:


tel: 0131 330 3500


By Car from the West
·         Take the M8, at junction 13 take the M80 then merge onto the M9.
·         At the Keir roundabout take 2nd exit onto the A9, At the Broxden                                          roundabout take 2nd exit to A93.
·         Follow the A989 Leonard Street onto Kings Place.
·         Turn right onto the A912 Edinburgh Road follow signs to Perth Prison                               (opposite Jet Garage).

By Car from the North
·         Take the A9 to the Inveralmond Roundabout take 1st exit onto A912 then                        onto A85
·          Turn left onto the A989 then onto A93.
·          Turn left back onto the A912 Edinburgh Road.
·          Follow signs to Perth Prison (opposite Jet Garage).

By Car from the East
·         Take the A929 to the Ladywell Roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A991

·         At Dudhope Roundabout take 2nd exit onto the A923 then  onto the A90.
·         Carry onto the A85 then turn left onto A93 then left again onto A989 follow                       onto A912. Edinburgh Road follow signs to Perth Prison (opposite Jet                               Garage).

By Car from the South
·         All Routes Head to the Forth Road Bridge.
·         Take M90 up to junction 10 onto A912 Edinburgh Road.
·         Follow Signs to Perth Prison (opposite Jet Garage).


By Bus
The bus station is situated approximately 50 yards away on the opposite side of the road from the railway station. Turn left when leaving the bus station and walk along the road until you see the railway station then follow the directions by Rail below.

By Rail
Perth Prison is a 10 minute walk from the railway station, a taxi service is also available. From the railway station turn right and go under the bridge, walk about 150 yards until you come to the South Inch (a large park area on the right of Marshall Place) You can cross the park diagonally until you come to Edinburgh Road opposite the prison, or follow the road down to the traffic lights, turn right and carry on up Edinburgh Road to reach the prison.

On entering from the main road, turn left for the visitors’ main parking. For disabled parking, turn left into the main car park, carry on round the one-way system, the bays are at the front of the prison.



HMP Perth - Visitors Information Leaflet

All individuals in custody book their own visits and have the responsibility to inform their visitors of the day and time of the visit.


Remand prisoners may have one visit daily, except Saturdays and Sundays – no visits are facilitated on these days. Maximum of 3 adult visitors, this does not include children (under the age of 16). 

Visitors please note that hooded tops are prohibited.

Agents Visits

Agents visits can be arranged on 01738 458 166. A maximum of three individuals can been seen in any one session, each session lasting 45 minutes. A maximum of four individuals can be booked on any one day. Only 4 appointments can be booked at any one time. A minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 7 days notice is required for booking agents visits. Agents are not allowed to change the details of their bookings, and they are not allowed to cancel and re-book the session within a period of 24 hours. Evening agents visits can be arranged for Monday to Friday and these will be held in the agents room within the open visits room. These sessions will be from 19:00-20:00. Only one agents visit can be booked for these times. Weekend visits can be arranged for Saturday at 14:15-14:45  and these will be will be held in the agents room in the open visits room. Only one agents visit can be booked for this time. You are required to carry your Law Society of Scotland ID card to attend an Agents visit. If you do not have one or it has expired, please contact the Prison prior to your visit to discuss alternative identification required.

Legal Visits by Video Link

Click here for information on the Scottish Legal Aid Board web site for solicitors looking to register for and use video link technology to conduct meetings with their clients in custody.

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 (with your current address)
         Citizen/Validate UK Card (Apply for a UK ID card Online - CitizenCard)
         Senior Citizens Bus Pass 
         National Identity Card

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

·         Utility bill (Gas, Electricity, Mobile Phone, etc.)
         Council tax bill
         Paper driving license


On arrival at Perth for a visit,

Should you require the use of a rest room prior to entering the prison, toilet facilities are available in the visitor centre next to the prison, operated by CrossReach.

On entering the prison through the main door you will be required to present your identification to staff. Staff will log you in on the system. You will require your identification and any money you are handing in for the person in custody's PPC.

Lockers are available for any belongings not permitted in the prison. You will need a £1 coin to operate the locker which is refundable. The only items permitted to take into the visit room are the locker key (if applicable), and change or a bank card for the vending machines.

If you have a baby with you, you can take in a plastic bottle with milk - no baby food is permitted, nappies and baby wipes will be provided. Prams and buggies are not permitted into  the visit room and can be parked by the lockers.

All visitors will be asked to walk through a metal detector and given a further search using a hand-held detector. You will then walk through a metal turn-style and enter a further door into a secure visitors waiting area. You can then use the facilities, read information leaflets and browse the noticeboards until your visit is called. There will likely be staff in this area to help you and offer guidance.

10 minutes prior to the visit session starting, visitors will be allowed access to the visit room. At this time you will be subject to 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. 

On entering the visit room you will be assigned a seat. You will have access to a vending machine once during the visit, preferably at the start of the visit. You may eat and drink from the vending machine but you cannot share. Once visitors are seated the individual you are visiting will be brought in. There are toys available in the visit room for any children visiting.

You will be informed when the visit session is ending. At this time you should get up from your table and leave the visit room. Staff will then walk you back down the stairs and show you the exit to the prison. No one can exit the prison until all visitors have left the visit room.

We hope you will have enjoyed your time during your visit.

Family Contact Officer (FCO)

We endeavour to have a FCO available between the hours of 8:30 and 16:15, Monday to Friday. They are on hand to answer any queries or concerns you may have in relation to maintaining contact with family members in prison. The FCO contact number is 01738 637198. This number comes with a voicemail service so if you cannot get through please leave your name and contact number and a FCO will get back to you as soon as possible. If you require to speak to an FCO in the prison ask an officer who will arrange for one to see you.

CrossReach Visitor Support Centre

There is a Visitor Centre located in a building next to the prison run by CrossReach staff and volunteers. They are on hand to offer free refreshments and information in a neutral setting. The aim of the centre is is to maintain communications in the family unit, to increase self-esteem, reduce social isolation and motivate and encourage visitors. The centre has close links with family contact officers in the prison. Alternatively you can phone 01738 625503. You will find more information on CrossReach services in Perth here:  Perth Visitors Support & Advice Centre | CrossReach

Sending in Property

Property can no longer be handed in to the Prison, it will only be accepted into the prison through Royal Mail or another established delivery company.

Property sent in starts with the individual in custody completing a pro-forma which generates a reference number - this is solely their responsibility. The pro-forma is sent to you, the recipient, who will be sending the property in. You should then ensure that only items that are on the pro-forma are sent in. Items that are not listed on the pro-forma will not be issued to the individual in custody and may incur a cost to return.

When sending in items mark the parcel for the individual in custody's attention, and ensure the pro-forma reference number is visible on the outside of the parcel. To ensure the parcel arrives safely, you can send it recorded delivery (cost incurred at the post office). We also advise to put a return address on the parcel.

Sending in Money

Similarly, money can no longer be handed in at the prison, and must either be posted in or ideally transferred directly from your bank. You can find details of how to transfer money here: online banking service

When posting a cheque or postal order we recommend use of recorded/special delivery (cost incurred at the post office). Cheques and Postal Orders should be made payable to the Scottish Prison Service, and the individual in custody's details should be written on the back. As above, you are advised to include a return address on the envelope.

Details on how to address correspondence to those in custody is available on the 'Getting in Touch' tab.

Visiting Times

Children's Visits

Mon  16:45-17:30 
Wed 16:45-17:30
Fri 16:45-17:30










Mon  19:00-19:45   
Tues 13:00-13:45  
Wed 16:45-17:30  
Thur 16:45-17:30  
Fri 15:30-16:15