In prison

 

A good general introduction to being in prison, written by a prisoner in 2015, can be found here

 

Visiting a prisoner

 

Prison visits can be booked at www.gov.uk/prison-visits

 

You will need the prisoner name, prison number and DOB.

 

Each prison is different and therefore you will need to investigate what the procedure is for the specific prison, for instance you may need the prison to submit an application to add the visitor to an approved list.

 

When visiting you will need to take proof of ID (again check with the prison what ID is accepted), you may be restricted what you can wear, you will be search before entering the visiting hall (the level of search will depend on the category of prison) and you will be restricted how close you can sit to the prisoner.

 

Keeping in touch with loved ones

 

Keeping contact with loved ones is incredibly important for both the prisoner and the loved one.  It is essential that contact is maintained.

 

Letters 

You can contact a prisoner by writing to them. Normally there’s no limit on the number of letters you can send.  Most letters sent to and from prison are checked by prison staff.  Make sure the letters include the prisoners name and number and your address at the top.  If you want a response from the prisoner, include a stamped addressed envelope, as purchasing stamps will impact the amount the prisoner has for their canteen spend.

 

Each prisoner should have one free letter per week.

 

Prisons can’t open letters from solicitors and courts except in special cases, eg if they suspect a letter isn’t really from a legal adviser.

 

Email

Email a Prisoner lets you send emails that are printed off and delivered to the prisoner by prison staff. Each email costs 40p and you need to buy credit to use the service. Prisoners can’t send a reply using this service.

 

Telephone

The prisoner has to call you using a prison phone.  All telephone numbers have to be pre-approved by the prison, so expect a delay getting any number approved.  Numbers will be restricted if there is a minor under 18 who could answer the telephone.

 

Prison staff can listen to and record most types of call. Some calls aren’t monitored, eg when a prisoner calls a legal adviser.

 

If the prisoner rings a mobile it will cost them 40p/min.  There are a number of websites that provide a number for the prisoner to ring where the prisoner will pay 10p/min from inside prison and you help them by paying the connecting charge of 5p/min from outside the prison.  An example of a provider is www.jailtelecom.com.  Please note with Jailtelecom, £10 Top-Up will give you 200 minutes of Talktime, however this expires after 30 days irrespective of how many of the 200 minutes have been used.

 

Sex Offender Treatment Programme

 

If you are convicted of the false allegations made against you and given a custodial sentence, then you will be expected to attend the SOTP (Sex Offender’s Treatment Programme) as part of your ill-founded incarceration. You are under no obligation whatsoever to attend this course as it is supposed to be 'voluntary'. However, non-attendance may well affect the length of time you spend behind bars as parole is likely to be refused.

 

To undertake this type of course you will be expected to admit guilt and empathise with the victim – all well and good if the crime has been committed. If it has, then stop reading and leave this site as it is not for you.

 

If you are rightly and honestly protesting your innocence and you are attempting to appeal the convictions then the worst thing you can do is to accede to Probation threats of recall and undertake this course. Even if you do not take part and merely 'sit in' it is likely that the Court of Appeal will deem this to be an admission of guilt and they will not entertain any appeal application because of it.

 

Probation may also tell you that the course they have in mind for you is for 'deniers'. These are not for deniers at all as they still will require you to discuss your alleged offences and your 'victim'.

 

If you merely agree to undertake the course but then do not take an active part in it, this could still have an adverse effect on any future appeal application. Difficult though it may be, you must try to stick to your guns, maintain your innocent stance, and refuse to do the course. You can agree to be 'assessed' but on your straight denial you should be considered 'unsuitable' or 'unready' to take the course, although of course this will not stop officers and 'prison psychology' pestering you to undertake this course – prisons get paid a lot of money for each participant.

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Disclaimer

Any guidance on this site is based purely on our own personal experiences and information we have picked up. We therefore cannot accept any liability for any information you use from this site. If you believe that anything on this site is factually incorrect or misleading, we would welcome your comments.

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