Timeframe for a Prisoner’s First Phone Call

Prison Info

Understanding the protocols and rights of prisoners within the UK judicial system can provide both the prisoner and their loved ones a sense of peace and smooth transition during what can be a difficult time. One prevalent question that arises is: “When is a prisoner allowed to make their first phone call?”

In the UK, protocol typically permits a prisoner to make their first phone call within 24 hours of their arrival at the prison, though this can vary depending on circumstances. Here, we will break down a detailed explanation of this procedure.

Arrival and Assessment

Upon arrival, all new prisoners go through an induction process which includes a series of assessments related to their health, behaviour, and welfare. Once this initial process has been conducted, a prisoner is usually allowed to make their first phone call, most commonly within the first 24 hours.

First Phone Call Procedure

The purpose of this initial phone call could range from informing family and friends of their present situation, arranging for necessary funds, or simply to pass on their designated PRN (Prisoners Reference Number), which will be required for any future calls. It’s important to note that this first phone call, like all following ones, will be monitored.

Funds for the Phone Call

Prisons facilitate phone calls by the use of a PIN phone account, which a prisoner uses for outbound calls only, to numbers they’ve registered. A prisoner’s PIN account is funded by their Prisoner Monies account, which they or loved ones can contribute to.

Subsequent Phone Calls

The frequency and duration of subsequent calls a prisoner can make after their initial communication, depends largely on the regime within the specific establishment. However, a typical scenario is the ability to make a daily call, ranging between 5-10 minutes.

Can prisoners receive phone calls?

In the UK, prisoners are not allowed to receive incoming calls, so it’s important for loved ones to be ready for when a prisoner is able to call.

  • Exception Cases

Exceptions to these regulations can occur in certain situations such as a serious family illness or in event of a death. In such cases, the prison may arrange for the prisoner to make or receive an additional phone call at the discretion of the prison governor.

We hope this guide provides valuable insights into when a prisoner is allowed to make their first phone call. Every attempt has been made to ensure the information provided is accurate as per current UK prison system and UK law, but it is always advisable to directly contact the relevant prison if you are unsure or require further information.

Understanding the rules of engagement in these circumstances can help make this difficult experience slightly less taxing for everyone involved.


What is the cheapest way to call from Prison?

It is by far cheaper to call landline numbers - however landlines are becoming less common in homes & it is by far more convenient to call your loved ones mobile incase you are calling when they aren't at home. Our call packages gives you the best of both worlds - landline call pricing, but the prisoner can call you on your mobile!

Is it cheaper to call a landline from prison?

Most definitely - YES! Mobiles can cost over 25p per minute, the precious phone credit runs out very fast! Our unlimited prison calls package saves money whilst adding the convenience of being able to pickup calls on your mobile.
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