Maximum Financial Allowance for Prisoners in the UK

Prison Info

In the UK, understanding the financial allowances of prisoners can provide a clearer picture of their life behind bars. This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of the maximum financial allowance for UK-based prisoners.

Basic Weekly Spend

Every UK prisoner is given a basic weekly allowance to spend on personal items. This ranges from £2 to £25.50, depending on the prisoner’s category.

  1. Standard Prisoners: They receive a minimum of £4 a week.
  2. Enhanced Prisoners: They receive up to £25.50 weekly.

Additional Allowances

Beyond the basic weekly spend, UK prisoners may qualify for additional allowances based on their behaviour, work, and engagement in prison activities.

  • Work Pay: Prisoners can earn additional money by participating in work programmes. The amount can vary greatly based on the type of work and the specific prison.
  • Bonus Pay: Some facilities offer bonus pay as an incentive for good behaviour or exceptional work performance.

How Can The Money Be Spent?

UK prisoners use their financial allowance for various personal expenses. This may include items like stationery, snacks, and approved entertainment materials.

  • Stationery and Postage: Prisoners can use their allowance to send letters to loved ones.
  • Food and Drink: Additional snacks and drinks can be purchased through a prison’s internal canteen.
  • Television: Some facilities allow prisoners to rent a television for their cell.

Can Outside Money Be Added?

Under UK law, friends and family are permitted to top up a prisoner’s financial allowance, subject to certain restrictions and conditions. This process varies from prison to prison and is usually subject to limits.

How To Send Money

To top up a prisoner’s allowance in the UK, you can use the Government’s secure online Portal. Once the money is received, it’s usually available within three working days.


The financial allowances in UK prisons help maintain a sense of normality for inmates. Despite its limitations, this system provides prisoners with a certain degree of financial independence, encouraging responsible spending, and paving the way for their eventual reintegration into society.

Remember, always check with individual prisons for specific restrictions or allowances as each institution may have its own unique guidelines.

What is the cheapest way to call from Prison?

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Is it cheaper to call a landline from prison?

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