Eligibility Criteria for Prison Visits

Prison Info

If you’re planning to visit a prisoner in the UK, it’s essential to understand the eligibility requirements beforehand. The rules for prison visits can seem complex, but don’t worry, we’re here to make them clear.

Fundamentally, who is eligible to visit a prisoner?

  • Family members: immediate family members like wives, husbands, parents, siblings and children are usually permitted to visit. This may extend to grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and the like. Stepfamily and foster family are also often included.
  • Friends: you may visit a prisoner if you had an established relationship prior to their imprisonment.
  • Professionals: individuals providing legal aid, support services, or who have a professional interest can also be allowed to visit.

Also, noteworthy is the fact that age is another crucial factor for eligibility.

  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult during their visit.
  • Proof of age may be required for older teens.
  • Adults over the age of 18 can visit alone.

However, remember the actual visit isn’t guaranteed purely on the basis of these general eligibility criteria. Each prison has its own specific set of rules. Plus, the prisoner must agree to your visitation.

This brings us to the Prison Visiting Orders (VOs).

A Visiting Order (VO) is a formal document that authorizes your visit to a specific prison. This is typically sent directly to you by the prisoner or provided to you by the prison following an application process.

Now, what is the process to get a VO?

  1. The prisoner must list you as a potential visitor on their Prisoner’s Visiting List.
  2. The prison office will then carry out background checks.
  3. If approved, a Visiting Order (VO) will be issued, either mailed to you directly or handed to the prisoner, depending on the prison.

And what else serves as pre-requisites for the prison’s visit?

  1. Present a valid photo ID upon your visit.
  2. Adhere to the dress code set by each prison.
  3. Follow the facility’s guidelines on what you can bring along (gifts, etc.).

Note, there are limitations on the number of visits.

  • A convicted prisoner is usually entitled to at least one visit every two weeks.
  • Unconvicted prisoners might be allowed three visits per week.

The actual frequency of visits may depend on the prisoner’s privileges and the prison’s policies.

Finally, it’s important to be aware that there are specific rules and guidelines to be followed during the visit. You will be briefed on these in advance or upon arrival at the prison.

The harsh truth is, if you violate any of these rules, your visit may be terminated promptly, and future visiting privileges can be affected.

Remember, everyone’s goal should be to ensure visits take place in a safe, secure, and pleasant environment. It’s crucial to respect the system in place and follow the proper channels. Happy visiting!

What is the cheapest way to call from Prison?

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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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