Visitor dress code for HMP Durham bans football shirts, men's vests and 'revealing' clothing

Ditch the football top, transparent clothing and ripped jeans if you’re planning on visiting an inmate at one of the North East’s busiest jails.

By Fiona Thompson
Saturday, 2nd November 2019, 8:00 am
HMP Durham, which has published dress code guidance for visitors.
HMP Durham, which has published dress code guidance for visitors.

An official dress code has now been published for HMP Durham after the rules existed in an informal format in the past.

Those visiting men in custody in the Old Elvet adult and young offender remand prison have been warned it will be in force from Friday, November 1.

The rules cover anyone aged over 10, with an organisation which supports friends and family visiting saying the rules help “maintain decency.”

A number of the clothing and items not allowed into HMP Durham as part of the dress code for visitors.

Anyone who does not meet the requirements will not be allowed in until they have changed into “appropriate, alternative clothing,” with lockers available for coats and personal items.

Smart watches are banned from all prisons, with each centre publishing their own code.

Among items not allowed into HMP Durham are:

*Hats, scarves and head covering not worn on religious grounds

*Inappropriately damaged clothing, ripped jeans or trousers

*Metal hair accessories

*Steel toe capped shoes/boots or cycle/motorcycle shoes

*Non-prescription glasses such as sunglasses

*See-through clothing

*Revealing tops and cropped tops revealing the navel area

*Male vests of any kind

*Items of clothing displaying offensive, abusive or insulting words or gestures

*Football shirts

*Mini or very short skirts/dresses unless worn with leggings

*All shorts must be mid-thigh to knee length

The prison had no comment to make when contacted.

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HMP Frankland, the high-security jail on the outskirts of Durham, has its own list, which includes several of the same items, with variations including no camouflage print and or tops or shirts unbuttoned to reveal cleavage or a bare chest.

The codes have been published by Nepacs, a charity which helps prisoners, offenders and relatives by supporting their family links, as it works to help those visiting the prisons.

A spokesperson said: “Nepacs aims to provide support and help to people visiting a loved one in prison, and accurate information on prison rules is essential.

“By helping promote the dress code, we want to make sure that people know the ‘do’s and don’ts’ when coming into a prison and that no-one is turned away from their visit.’

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