Understanding Life Inside a British Prison

Prison Info

If you or a loved one are facing a prison sentence in the United Kingdom, it’s crucial to understand what life inside a British prison is like. By staying informed, you can alleviate much of the stress and uncertainty that comes with this challenging experience.

The Daily Routine in UK Prisons

Every prison in the UK has a structured daily routine to maintain discipline and order. Depending on the prison and its regime, the typical day includes roll calls, breakfast, education or work, exercise, meals, and lock-up time.


Prisoners in the UK are usually housed in a single or shared cell, fitted with a bed, desk, and a toilet. “Open” prisons offer more relaxed conditions while “closed” prisons apply stricter security measures.

Visitation Rights

Prisoners are usually allowed at least two one-hour visits every four weeks, but this can vary depending on the prison’s policies and the prisoner’s behaviour and privilege level.

Work and Education

Most prisoners are required to work during their sentence. The nature of the work varies but often includes kitchen duties, cleaning, or gardening. Educational classes are also available to prisoners to help them acquire new skills or qualifications.


Healthcare provision in UK prisons is equivalent to what is available within the wider National Health Service (NHS). Every prison has a healthcare team that offers services from mental health support to emergency care.

Food Service

Prisoners in the UK receive three meals per day, which are varied to cater for a range of dietary requirements, including religious, medical, and vegetarian/vegan diets.


While in prison, individuals are allowed to write and receive letters. In some cases, they may make and receive phone calls. The use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited.

Rights and Responsibilities

Prisoners have a range of rights in the UK, including the right to food and healthcare, as well as responsibilities such as following prison rules and respect for staff and other prisoners.

Preparation for Release

The UK’s prison service has measures in place to prepare prisoners for release, such as assistance with housing, employment, and ongoing rehabilitative support.

Having a firm grasp of what to expect in a UK prison can help to alleviate anxieties for both the individual facing incarceration and their loved ones. It’s crucial to communicate regularly, providing appropriate help and support throughout the journey.

Additional Support

There are various organisations that provide support to prisoners and their families before, during, and after imprisonment. These include the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), the National Prisoners’ Families Helpline, and the Prisoners’ Education Trust.

In conclusion, it’s important to note that each UK prison has its own rules and regulations. However, no matter the prison, individuals are always treated with respect, with their basic needs met, including access to healthcare and education. Understanding this information may not remove all the fears associated with imprisonment, but it certainly helps in navigating the prison system more confidently.

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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