What to take to prison

What should I bring to prison? What should you include in your prison bag to bring with you? We have put together a detailed list of must-have items for you to take into prison!

All newly convicted prisoners will be required to wear prison issue uniform (typically oversized grey joggers, a grey t-shirt and a grey jumper) for at least two weeks or until they are enhanced; after that, they may wear their own clothing, but they must adhere to prison regulations.

What to take to Prison

Here is what you should prepare in your prison bag to bring with you to prison:
  • 2 pairs of trainers (for gym use as well)
  • Underwear / Socks
  • Towel
  • Dressing Gown
  • Flip Flops
  • Earplugs
  • Books
  • Puzzle games such as Word Search, Crosswords
  • For letters - Envelopes, Writing Paper, Pens, Pencils, Stamps
  • Photos of your family
  • Money for your prison account (£100, this goes into your prison account)
  • Basic Watch (low value)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant) - aerosols aren't allow, or products containing alcohol.
  • Electric Shaver
  • Wedding ring
  • Address Book
  • Calendar
  • CD Player / Stereo & Earphones
  • Gloves / Scarf (it can be freezing during winter)

Prison Clothing

Most prisons have a limit on the amount of clothing permitted at any given time. Depending on the duration of your incarceration, prepare accordingly (for example, summer will need shorts, winter warmer clothes such as jumpers).

Prison Clothing Limits:

  • 9 Lower Garments which includes shorts, trousers, jeans and joggers
  • 15 Upper Garments which includes tshirts and jumpers
  • 1 Jacket/Coat
  • 10 Pairs of Socks, Unlimited Underwear
  • 3 Pairs of Shoes/Trainers

What prison clothing is not allowed

  • Staff wear black/white clothing - so you aren't allowed to wear anything Black or White as they say you could be mistaken for a member of staff
  • Team or Football shirts which includes most sports such as rugby, hockey or basketball
  • No hoodies
  • No camouflaged clothing
  • No offensive clothing with slogans or motifs
  • No Uniform such as military

Keeping Property In Prison

PSI 12/2011 Prisoners’ Property states the following (Link):

‘Property held in possession by any prisoner must be limited to that which fits into two standard size volumetric control boxes and an ‘outsize item’ unless the Governor agrees, exceptionally, to a prisoner holding property in excess of that limit or it is an item which is exempt from volumetric restrictions.’ A property box measures 70cm x 55cm x 25cm. You can fill two of these.
Personal hygiene and grooming items
The following are allowed at all incentive levels:
  • Towel. No sports teams/countries/ offensive slogans/designs.
  • Flannel / Sponge.
  • Comb / Hair brush.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Nail clippers (possession of those with files to be determined recently)
  • Shaving brush. No metal allowed.
  • Nail brush.
  • Hair accessories e.g. scrunchies/ties, clips, extensions.
  • Hair dryer.
  • Tweezers.
  • Shower cap.
  • Toilet/make-up bag. Not padded.
  • Small fans.
  • Make-up.
  • a plain ring like a wedding ring or signet ring. You cannot keep a ring with raised patterns or stones, like an engagement ring.
  • earring/stud/small sleeper for ears and body piercings if worn on initial reception. These can be replaced if damaged.
  • a lightweight chain, which can have attached religious symbols but no medallions.
  • rheumatism band
  • Watch/Pocket watch. You can have a digital watch but it must not include data storage, recording, Bluetooth or WiFi capability, or other smart functions.
At higher incentive levels, you may be allowed the following items:
  • Electric Hair Clippers (Any scissors /sharps will be removed and disposed/stored).
  • Beard trimmer.
  • Nasal Hair Trimmer.
  • Electric Shaver
  • Hair straighteners. not gas powered.
  • Pin/Plug adapter

Prison Survival Guide


A comprehensive prison survival guide to give you a head start when entering prison – there is little to no guidance when entering prison leaving you to work things out as you go. Our guide covers you from the first days or entering the prison, through to visitations and survival tips from ex-prisoners.

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