Understanding Jail: What to Expect When Incarcerated

Prison Info

If you or a loved one is facing incarceration in the UK, it’s natural to have many questions. It’s important to understand the process, your rights, and what to expect while serving time. This page will assist you in understanding the UK prison structure and prepare you for the journey ahead.

What Happens First: Arrest and Conviction

When a person is arrested and charged, they are usually held in a local jail until their court date. If they are subsequently convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of imprisonment, they are transferred to a prison.

The Admission Process

Upon arrival at the prison, new inmates go through an admission process which includes medical screening, risk assessment, and assignment of prison number and cell. The prisoner will be searched, and personal property will be recorded and stored.

Prison Life

Beyond the initial admission, your time in prison will have a somewhat structured routine, which often includes activities like work assignments, educational programs, and exercise periods. UK prisons are operated by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and are designed to keep prisoners safe and help them rehabilitate.

Cell Life

A day in the life of a prisoner typically starts early, with a wake-up call at around 7:30am. Breakfast is usually served in the cell, followed by work or educational classes for the rest of the day. A prisoner’s cell is their personal space while they are incarcerated and usually includes a bed, toilet, and sink.

  • Catering to Different Needs: There are different types of facilities for men, women, and young offenders, including high-security, closed, and open prisons. Each caters to different needs and risk levels.
  • Visitation Rights: Prisoners typically have the right to at least two visits every four weeks during their first year of sentence and one visit every two weeks after.
  • Communication access: Prisoners have the right to send and receive letters. They may also make telephone calls, but this will vary depending on the prison and individual privileges.

The Release Process

Most prisoners in the UK do not serve their entire sentence inside the prison. Most are released on parole before their sentence ends. After release, an ex-prisoner usually will be supervised by a Probation Officer for a certain period of time.

Understanding prison life, knowing what to expect, and being aware of your rights can make the experience less nerve-wracking. Remember, the ultimate goal of the prison system is not only punishment, but to also provide opportunities for rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

This information is a general guide and specifics may vary from one institution to another. For more detailed information, it’s always best to check with the specific institution or consult with a legal adviser.

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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