Understanding Life in Prison: An In-Depth Overview

Prison Info

While life in prison may appear as a mystery to many, it’s a reality for thousands across the UK. In this article, we aim to provide an in-depth understanding of what UK prison life is like, covering aspects such as accommodation, food, education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. With insights gathered from various sources, we aim to give you a comprehensive understanding of life behind bars.


Upon arrival, you are searched and allocated a cell. Cells in UK prisons are usually designed for two inmates, although some may end up in a single person cell. Each cell comes with essential facilities like a bed, toilet, sink, worktop, and a small, lockable cabinet.

Meal Times:

Food in prison is a vital aspect of daily life. UK prisons offer three meals a day, with menus designed to be balanced and nutritious. Inmates often get the option to select their meals in advance from a menu.

Work and Education:

Prisons provide work and educational opportunities for inmates. They can gain qualifications in subjects like Maths, English, and ICT and also learn vocational skills such as cooking, construction, and gardening. Work is obligatory for any able-bodied prisoner and takes up a good part of the day.


UK prisons provide comprehensive healthcare services, akin to those available outside. Prisoners can access GP services, mental health support, and dentistry. Substance misuse services are also available for those struggling with addiction.

Visiting Hours:

UK prisons have specific visiting hours, although these may vary. Usually, visits are allowed at least once a week, and visitors need to be on an approved list.

Leisure and Recreation:

During free time, prisoners can get involved in recreational activities such as reading, exercise, and television. Each jail has a library and a gym, offering opportunities for personal development and physical fitness.

Rules and Regulations:

Life in prison is tightly regulated. Inmates must follow a strict timetable and are subjected to routine cell inspections and security checks. Disruptive behaviour can lead to loss of privileges.


Prisoners are not alone during their journey. Various support services exist to help inmates cope with the challenges of prison life. These range from counselling services, helplines, and faith-based support.

Release and Resettlement:

UK prisons offer resettlement support to inmates nearing their release date. This helps them prepare for re-entering society, with a focus on securing accommodation and employment.

While prison life can be difficult, the UK penal system aims to provide a safe, rehabilitative environment where inmates can reflect, learn, and prepare for reintegration into society. Without glamourising or undermining the reality of incarceration, it’s important to remember that prison serves not just as a punishment, but also as an opportunity for making amends and personal growth.

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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