What Can Prisoners Spend Money On: A Comprehensive Guide

Prison Info

Welcome to our comprehensive guide about what prisoners in the UK can spend their money on. We aim to provide clear, concise information on this essential topic.

Prisoners in the UK have limited rights to spend money – known as their “spends” – to purchase certain items or services. The money can come from employment within the prison, incentives and earned privileges (IEP), or funds sent in from outside. Despite the structure, there is still some degree of choice available to prisoners.

Earning Money in Prison

Most prisoners can earn money through working. Jobs can vary from kitchen work, cleaning, or work in a prison industry. The pay ranges from £4 to £30 per week. It’s important to note that prisoners are expected – as a part of their rehabilitation – to work or engage in other activities.

How Can Prisoners Spend Their Money?

There are restrictions on how the money can be spent. For the sake of clarity, we will provide a breakdown of the ways prisoners can spend their money.

  1. Canteen Items: This is essentially the prison’s personal shopping system. A list is provided weekly to prisoners, from which they can choose items such as toiletries, stationery, and food. The list also includes tobacco, although this is now less prevalent due to the 2016 prison smoking ban.
  2. Phone Credits: Communication is key, which is why phone credits are one of the essential things that the money can be spent on. These allow for calls to pre-approved phone numbers.
  3. Mail: Although emails are becoming more common, the traditional route of letters is still available. The money can be spent on envelopes, stamps, and writing paper.
  4. TV: In many prisons, inmates have to rent a TV for their cells. Although this is reportedly quite cheap, it is a consistent expense.
  5. Courses and Education: Prison isn’t just about punishing; it’s about reform too. Money can be spent on self-improvement courses or other forms of education.

Other Uses of Prisoner Money

Aside from the items mentioned above, the money can also be used in other ways. Here are a few:

  • Saving: Prisoners can save up their money in a private cash account, which they’ll receive upon their release.
  • Fines or Restitutions: Sometimes, the court will order that money is taken from the prisoner’s funds to pay fines or restitution to victims.
  • Charity: Prisoners can also choose to donate their earnings to a charity of their choice.

The spending habits of prisoners are monitored to ensure they’re fitting into a pattern of responsible money management. The goal is for the prisoner to learn skills that they’ll use upon release.

Conclusions on Prisoner Spending in the UK

While the idea of prisoners earning and spending money might seem strange to some, it’s all part of the process of rehabilitation. Teaching financial management is a crucial step towards reducing reoffending rates, and playing a part in society once their sentence is over.

This guide has aimed to shed light on the finances of prisoners in the UK, with the goal of increasing understanding and facilitating clearer conversations on prisons, reform, and rights.

Remember, prison’s ultimate purpose is not only to punish but also to rehabilitate and reintegrate individuals back into society, which is why seemingly mundane aspects such as spending habits are crucially important.

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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