• Top 1% of Defence Law Firms

  • Defended over 50,000 Cases

  • 5 star google reviews

  • 40 Years of Criminal Law Expertise

Criminal Defence Articles

A Guide To HMP Altcourse

If you or someone you know is facing a prison sentence and may be sent to HMP Altcourse, it can be helpful to understand what to expect next. This blog post will provide an overview of HMP Altcourse, including the type of prison it is, its location, and how to get there. We also cover what happens during the reception process when someone is first sent to prison, as well as what visitors can expect when visiting the prison. By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of what happens to new prisoners at HMP Altcourse, and what you need to know if you plan on visiting a friend or family member there.

What type of prison is HMP Altcourse?

HMP Altcourse is a Category B men’s private prison and Young Offenders Institution located in Fazakerley, Liverpool, England. It is managed by G4S and has a capacity of 1,324 male prisoners, mainly those who have received convictions from Cheshire and Merseyside courts. The prison has healthcare, education, sports, and religious facilities for prisoners.

How to get to HMP Altcourse

HMP Altcourse is located at Brookfield Dr, Fazakerley, Liverpool, L9 7LH. You can drive to the prison or use public transport (a short walk may be required, depending on the route). Several bus and coach routes pass near the prison and Merseyside rail services are also proximate.

What happens when you first go to prison as a prisoner?

If you are facing prison for the first time, undoubtedly you are concerned about what might happen and how you will cope. This is completely normal, but having some information on next steps can help calm your nerves.

“Reception” is the first stage that someone goes through when they are inducted into a new prison. The reception process is there to ensure that the prison knows who you are, what your needs are, and what risks you may pose to yourself, staff, or other prisoners. Plans for your accommodation and other facilities/services in the prison are made accordingly.

The reception process typically involves:

  • Undergoing a health screening to identify any immediate health concerns and need for medical treatment.
  • Being searched to ensure that you are not carrying any contraband, such as drugs or weapons. You may also be strip-searched.
  • Having your personal property will be checked and logged. Any prohibited items will be confiscated.
  • Being given information about the rules and regulations, daily routines, and available services and programs in the prison.

After reception, you will be assigned to a specific wing or unit within the prison. You will be given a cell, bedding, and basic hygiene items, and introduced to your cellmate(s), if applicable.

What happens when you visit someone in prison?

Visiting someone in prison in England involves several steps designed to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.

Visitors need to book their visit in advance and provide photographic identification when they arrive. At reception, you are likely to go through a security check, which may involve your body, clothes, and bags being checked. Be aware that even children may be searched for security purposes.

After being cleared by security, visitors wait until their visit is due, when they will be escorted to a visiting room to see the prisoner, which may be through a screen or glass partition, or could be in an open room with several tables. Depending on the prison’s rules, physical contact may be allowed.

Once the visit is over, visitors need to check out and may undergo another security check before leaving the prison to ensure they are not taking anything out of the prison on behalf of the prisoner.

If you have specific questions about what you can and cannot take to HMP Altcourse, it is best to call the prison in advance for more information on their visitation policies and procedures.

Where to get more help

If you or someone you care about is being sent to HMP Altcourse, or is already incarcerated there, and you have concerns about their legal rights or what might happen next (including potential conviction or sentencing appeals), get in touch with the experts at Stuart Miller Solicitors today. We have decades of experience with prison issues and know exactly how to navigate the complexities and politics of incarceration. For a free, no obligation consultation, get in touch with the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors today.


  • Responsive

    A legal expert will consult you within 24 hours of making an enquiry.

  • Empathetic

    We will always treat you with trust, understanding and respect.

  • Specialised

    Your case will be handled by an expert who specialises in your type of offence.

  • Proactive

    We will take early action to end proceedings as soon as it is practically and legally possible to do so.

  • Engaged

    You will be kept updated on your case at all times. We will provide a named contact available to answer your questions.

  • Caring

    We understand this is a difficult and stressful time for you and your family. Our team will support you every step of the way.

  • Tenacious

    We will never give up on your case. We fight tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome.

Google Rating
Based on 348 reviews

Further Reading


Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.