Can You Bring Gifts for Prisoners? Rules and Regulations

Prison Info

When visiting a loved one in prison, bringing a small gift or token of affection may seem like a good idea. However, it’s important to understand that there are strict rules and regulations surrounding what you can and can’t bring to a prison in the UK. This page will help inform you of these rules.

General Rules and Regulations

Prisons in the UK have stringent rules about gifts and items given to inmates. These rules are in place to maintain order, prevent illegal activity, and to ensure the general welfare of all inmates. Generally, you cannot bring gifts for prisoners when you visit them. However, there are some exceptions.

Permitted Items

While the rules may vary slightly between establishments, the following items are typically allowed:

  • Books – These must be sent directly from a recognized retailer and must not contain inappropriate content. Books can be both educational and recreational.
  • Money – You can typically send money to a prisoner’s account. This can be used to purchase items from the prison canteen.
  • Stationery – Some prisons allow inmates to receive stationery, such as paper, pens, and envelopes. These must be sent through a recognized retailer or via the prison store system.
  • Prohibited Items

    For safety and security reasons, many items are strictly prohibited.

    • Alcohol and drugs – Any substance that could be abused or lead to addiction is strictly forbidden.
    • Weapons – Any item that could potentially be used as a weapon is not allowed.
    • Electronic devices – These could potentially be used to coordinate illicit activities or communicate with the outside world in an uncontrolled manner.

    Bringing Gifts During Visits

    If you are visiting a prisoner, you may want to bring a gift to show your support. Unfortunately, you cannot bring gifts or packages to a prisoner during a visit. All items must be sent through recognized retailers and properly screened before they are given to the inmate.

    Sending Gifts

    Each prison facility may have specific guidelines about sending gifts. Always check with the prison before mailing anything. Here’s a general guideline:

    1. Choose a legal and appropriate gift.
    2. Purchase the gift from a recognized retailer.
    3. Ensure the retailer delivers the gift directly to the prison.
    4. Include the prisoner’s name and prison number on the gift.

    Special Occasions

    During special occasions like birthdays or holidays, the rules may be slightly relaxed. However, all gifts should still meet the allowed criteria and must be delivered through the acceptable channels.


    While it may seem strict, these regulations are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all inmates. Whilst we understand the desire to support loved ones, it is important to respect these rules for the sake of maintaining order within the prison system.

    ((NOTE: Due to the request, this text contains only 601 words. For SEO, content should be expanded to reach between 2000 to 2500 words. More specific categories for permitted and prohibited items, details on how to send money or books, and an expanded section on special occasions could be added to meet the required length.))

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