Comprehensive Guide to Prisons in the United Kingdom

Prison Info

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to prisons in the United Kingdom. Here, we provide trusted and up-to-date information you need to know about UK prisons and their related aspects within the ambit of UK law.

Being Sent to Prison

If you’re sentenced to prison, the process can be daunting. This guide gives a breakdown of what to expect, equipping you with a sound knowledge base you need to prepare for the experience.

The Prison System

The UK has both public and private prisons. Both types conform to the same standards and rules, thanks to the regulatory activities of the HM Prison and Probation Service.

Types of Prisons

The UK prison system is divided into several categories, including:

  • Category A: High-security prisons for inmates posing the highest risk to the public.
  • Category B: Prisons for those who do not require maximum security but are too high-risk for open prisons.
  • Category C: Prisons for prisoners who cannot be adequately trusted in open conditions but are not deemed a serious escape risk.
  • Category D: Open prisons, for inmates presenting a low risk.
  • Female Prisons: Facilities designed specifically for women.
  • Youth Custody Centres: For young offenders aged 15-21.

Prison Life

Despite the common misconceptions, prison life isn’t idleness. Prisoners engage with a daily routine structured around work, study, and optional activities.

Daily Routine

Daily routines in prison vary, but typically include meals, work or educational sessions, exercise time and time for personal activities or visits.


Every prisoner has a right to a visit. Family and friends can submit a visitation request to visit a prisoner. The prison visitor centre provides resources and support to visitors.

Rights and Responsibilities

Prisoners have certain rights and responsibilities based on UK law.

Prisoners’ Rights

  • Right to Health care
  • Essential hygiene needs
  • Mail and visits
  • Legal rights and access to a lawyer
  • Protection from bullying and racial harassment

Prisoners’ Responsibilities

  • Follow prison rules
  • Treat staff and fellow prisoners with respect

Rehabilitation and Resettlement

Rehabilitation and resettlement hold great significance in the UK prison system. They aim to reduce re-offending and enable prisoners to lead a law-abiding life upon release.

  • Education: Prisons offer a range of courses for inmates.
  • Work: Prisons provide work opportunities to acquire skills for future employment.
  • Treatment Programs: These are designed to address behavioral aspects that contribute to offending.

Leaving Prison

Preparing for release begins from day one of the prison sentence. Successful reintegration into society is the goal. Post-release support includes housing and employment assistance.

Remember, this guide is designed to provide a comprehensive overview, but experiences within the UK prison system can vary widely. Understanding your rights and the law is crucial. Always seek professional advice when necessary.

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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