Where we operate

The NAOPV operates in England and Wales; at present, there are no OPV schemes in Scotland or Northern Ireland. There are 118 prisons in England and Wales, with a prison population of 79,453 (as of June 2020). Male prisons are organised into four categories, reflecting their level of security; there are also prisons for women, Young Offenders and juveniles. Most prisons are operated by the state, but some are privately run (for example, by SERCO and G4S).

Many – but not all – prison establishments have OPV schemes. The frequency of visiting is dependent on the availability of each OPV: some OPVs visit weekly, some fortnightly and some less frequently; what is important is the regularity of visiting.

Some prisons form a branch of the NAOPV which provides a support structure for the OPVs within their prison.

There are eleven NAOPV regions, each with a Regional Secretary. They provide support to prison chaplaincies, helping them with OPV recruitment, as well as advising staff of the implementation of the regulations relating to official prison visiting. They also provide support to Branches and individual OPVs as necessary.

Prison map courtesy of Ministry of Justice.
See a list of all prisons in England and Wales on www.gov.uk

prisons location map