• 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 Dartmoor

It’s never easy to face the prospect of going to prison, but our guide to HMP Dartmoor can help you feel more prepared. We’ll cover everything from the prison’s type and location to transportation options and what happens when you first arrive. We’ll also offer advice for visitors. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect and how to navigate this challenging time with more confidence.

What type of prison is HMP Dartmoor?

Situated in Princetown, Devon, England, HMP Dartmoor is a Category C men’s public prison. Administered by His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, it can accommodate up to 640 male prisoners, primarily sentenced by local courts. The facility offers healthcare, educational opportunities, sports, and religious services to its inmates.

How to get to HMP Dartmoor

HMP Dartmoor is located at Princetown, Yelverton, PL20 6RR. You can either drive to the prison or use public transport (a brief walk might be necessary depending on the chosen route). Several bus services pass by the prison, and the nearest rail station is in Plymouth, with connecting bus services available.

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

Upon your arrival at the prison, you will undergo the “reception” phase, a crucial stage that aims to ensure a smooth transition into the prison system. This phase is designed to gather crucial information about you, such as your requirements, strengths, and any potential risks, which will be used to determine the most suitable accommodations and support services for you.

During the reception process, you will undergo a thorough health screening to identify any immediate medical concerns and guarantee that you receive adequate care. Your well-being is a top priority, and you can be assured that you will receive the necessary attention. Additionally, you will be searched to ensure the safety of everyone in the prison, and your personal belongings will be documented and kept securely. Furthermore, you will be given information about the prison’s rules and regulations, daily routines, and the various services and programs available to help you develop and improve during your time in prison.

Once the reception process is completed, you will be allocated to a specific wing or unit that best suits your needs. You will be given basic hygiene items, bedding, and a cell to call your own for the duration of your stay. If you have a cellmate, you will be introduced to them at this time. Developing a respectful relationship with your cellmate can contribute to a more positive experience in prison.

What happens when you visit someone in prison?

When visiting an inmate, it is crucial to adhere to strict guidelines that prioritize the safety and well-being of all parties involved.

Individuals must schedule an appointment and present a valid photo ID upon arriving at the facility. All visitors, including children, must undergo a thorough security screening to ensure that no unauthorized items enter the premises.

Once cleared, visitors will wait for their assigned time slot and be directed to a designated meeting area. The layout of this area may vary depending on the prison’s policies, ranging from an open space with multiple tables to a partitioned area with a barrier or glass. The extent of physical contact allowed will also depend on the institution’s regulations.

At the end of the visit, individuals must sign out and may face additional security checks to verify that they are not carrying any prohibited items on behalf of the inmate. Security personnel may employ measures such as metal detectors, X-ray machines, or more invasive searches to prevent any dangerous objects from leaving the facility.

For those who are unsure about the items allowed during a visit to HMP Dartmoor, it is recommended to contact the prison ahead of time. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of their specific visitation policies and procedures, making for a stress-free and hassle-free visit.

Where to get more help

Navigating the legal system during incarceration at HMP Dartmoor can be a daunting task. Let Stuart Miller Solicitors take the lead and provide the guidance and support you need during this difficult time. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.


  • 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 339 reviews

Further Reading


Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.