Items Permitted in UK Prisons

Prison Info

In the UK, prisons have specific rules governing which items are permitted for inmates. These regulations aim to uphold safety, maintain order, and facilitate rehabilitation. This guide will help you understand what you can bring or send to a loved one in a UK prison.

Personal Belongings

  • Reasonable civilian clothing for court appearances
  • Items required for medical or physical needs, approved by the prison healthcare team
  • Cultural or religious items, such as rosary beads or prayer mats

Books and Educational Materials

Prisoners in the UK can receive books and educational materials. These must be sent directly from a recognized publisher or bookstore. Note that the content should not promote illegal activity or violence.

Letters and Photos

Friends and family can send letters and photographs but these must not contain inappropriate or explicit content. Note that prison staff can read mail sent to inmates, with the exception of legal correspondence.


Money can be allowed into UK prisons, usually through a secure online system, for the prisoner to buy additional items such as stationery, snacks, and to pay for phone calls. There are limits to these transactions which are set by the specific prison.

Music Players and Headphones

In some prisons, pre-approved music players and headphones can be purchased from the prison shop.

Items To Not Send

Finally, it is crucial to highlight items which are strictly prohibited. These include:

  • Drugs, weapons, or any illegal items
  • Mobile phones or devices with internet access
  • Medicines not prescribed by the prison healthcare service
  • Alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Any items with violent, hateful, or explicit content

Always make sure you check with the individual prison before sending any items, as rules can vary. Insurance of safety, decency and security is paramount in UK prisons, and these rules are enshrined to maintain these values. The violation of these rules may lead to penalties, so it’s important to adhere to the guidelines.

By understanding and respecting these guidelines, you can positively contribute to the wellbeing of your incarcerated loved ones. Ensuring the approved items reach your loved ones will help provide them a sense of home and contribute to their overall wellbeing during their time in the prison system.

Remember that any gift sent to prisoners should always be for the right reason – to uphold their respect, dignity, and rehabilitation journey. It is in embracing these values that we can help affect the most positive change for those within the UK prison system.

Please be aware that these rules are subject to change and may vary from one prison to another. Always contact the individual prison to confirm their specific rules.

Updated as of the current UK law – every effort has been made to ensure accuracy at the time of writing.

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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