Practical information & advice
Read our latest news posts about leaving prison
Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to leaving prison.
I’m looking for some information specifically about prison issues?
Our work as a charity is generally focused on the issues that people face after release from prison, or just generally because of their criminal record. However, we have a few useful sections of information relating to prison:
- Resettlement services
- Education in prison
- Working for an outside employer while still in prison
- Licence conditions
- Supervision in the community (after release from prison and on probation or a community order
- Prison records
I’m looking for some legal advice about a prison issue.
If you’re looking for legal advice on a prison matter, you might want to check out the Association of Prison Lawyers.
My husband has just been sent to prison. Are there any organisations that can provide me with information about what to expect whilst he’s in prison?
We’ve got details of some organisations that provide information and advice to families in our important links and organisations section.
I’m worried that I’m going to be sentenced to time in prison. Can you give me some information about dealing with the day to day issues in prison?
Our work focuses on the issues faced by people once they are released from prison, rather than those just going into custody. You may find further information in the ‘Useful Links’ section of this page.
I’m worried about how I’ll go about claiming benefits when I leave prison. Can you help at all?
The GOV.uk site has some specific guides for people leaving prison who need to make a claim for Universal Credit.
- Universal Credit: guide for prison leavers who have a work coach
- Universal Credit: guide for prison leavers who don’t have a work coach
- Acceptable Identification checklist
Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on prison. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.
- Our work as a charity is generally focused on the issues that people face after release from prison, or just generally because of their criminal record.
- There are a number of organisations that are focused specifically on prison issues – they will be better placed to deal with specific issues relating to prison. Their details can be found at the bottom of this page.
Frequently asked questions
Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about prison and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.
Unless you’ve received a prison sentence of over 2 years, you should be able to remain on the list of the GP that you were registered with prior to going into prison. However, if it’s been necessary for you to receive any healthcare whilst in custody then your medical records will have been sent to the prison and you will probably have been removed from your GP’s list.
We are aware of people who have found it difficult to register with a new GP upon release; often because they’re out of the practice area. The latest General Medical Services Contract however states that vulnerable individuals should be allowed to register with a practice prior to release. Your prison healthcare department should contact your preferred practice to arrange this.
If you can’t register with a practice prior to release and you’re refused registration by a GP practice, then you should ask the practice to put in writing to you the reason for their refusal. You will then be able to contact your local Primary Care Trust who have a duty to provide you with access to a local GP practice.
Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to prison that we refer to in our information and advice.
A national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. Run a Helpline offering advice on a range of issues affecting young people in custody
Telephone Helpline: 0808 801 0308
Address: 1 Ardleigh Road, London N1 4HS
They are an independent legal charity providing information and representation to prisoners on their rights as prisons. They cover England and Wales. They do not deal with miscarriages of justice or appeals against conviction/sentence.
PRT run an advice and information service which provides free information about prison life, rules and regulations and prisoner’s rights. They also give advice and assistance (they are unable to give legal advice).
Provides access to learning opportunities for prisoners to enhance their chances of building a better life after release. They provide a grants programme assisting prisoners to study distance learning courses not available in prison.
Telephone: 020 3752 5680
Address: The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London, SE11 5RR or FREEPOST PRISONERS’ EDUCATION TRUST
Provide advice around tax issues to prisoners.
Telephone: 01824 704535
Address: Unit 4 Ffordd yr Onnen, Lon Parcwr Business Park, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 1NJ
Housing and resettlement
Stonham Bass provide accommodation and support services to people on bail or Home Detention Curfew (HDC) if they have no other suitable accommodation.
Life in prison
Doing time will give you the reality of what you are facing as you are processed through the prison system, and will help you deal with day-to-day issues. Information is based on the shared experiences of people who have been in prison and those working within the criminal justice system.
A useful website with practical advice for those facing their first prison sentence.
Prisoners’ Penfriends makes it possible for volunteers to write safely to prisoners.
A befriending service which aims to support vulnerable people in prison by establishing and maintaining contact through letter writing and visiting.
Bent Bars Project is a letter writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex prisoners in Britain. The project aims to develop stronger connections and build solidarity between LGBTQ communities outside and inside prison.
Clink’s Directory of Offender Services provides a database of organisations working with people with convictions and their families.
A useful online guide produced by a former prisoner. To read online, click here.
The national newspaper for prisoners.
An interesting book that can be bought from Amazon.
Read personal stories
The personal stories below have been posted on theRecord, our online magazine.
Discuss this with others
Read and share your experiences of this on our online forum.
Key sections include:
- Prison – Working out whilst in prison