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Prison records


Prison Subject Access Request (often referred to as “Prison Records”)

Issued by

Ministry of Justice Data Access & Compliance Unit


To establish what information prisons (including the Governor, security department, education staff and the healthcare department) have on their files about you

What it contains

Details of all personal information which the Prison Service holds on their records about you. This includes details of transfers and parole dossier information along with the activities you were involved in whilst being housed in each of these establishments

How to apply

In writing to the Ministry of Justice Data Access and Compliance Unit

Who can apply for it

You only

Contact details

A: Ministry of Justice, Data Access and Compliance Unit (DACU), Postal Point 10.31, Floor 10, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ


Free. However, they can charge a reasonable fee for administrative costs if they think the request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’.

How long it takes

Approximately 40 working days

Where it is sent

To you only

Link to anonymous example

Not available

How to correct inaccurate information

You would need to write to the Data Access and Compliance Unit, highlighting the particular area of the file you take issue with. If you have any further information or documentation which supports your request then this should also be enclosed along with your covering letter. Upon receipt a confirmation letter will be sent, and a letter detailing the outcome will follow

Other information

If you are a serving prisoner you should enclose an authority for the DACU to deduct the £10 fee from your prisoner monies account and sufficient details to enable the DACU to trace your records.  This should include your full name, date of birth, prison number and name of the prison you currently reside in. If you have served a previous custodial sentence you should also provide details of your time in custody relating to this period.  If you are currently in prison, you may be able to make the application internally. More details are available in PSI 44/2014.

If you have been released from prison, you should provide details of your time in custody which should include your full name, date of birth, prison number, dates and name of the prison(s) you were held in.  You will also need to include the relevant fee and ID.

Acceptable forms of ID include photocopies of recent utility bills (not more than 6 months old) or bank statements or photocopies of the photograph page of a passport or driving licence.

If you are requesting personal data on another person’s behalf, you will need to satisfy the above criteria plus include a signed consent from the person who the data concerns.


Add Comment
  1. Hi,
    I am John O`Donnell`s (23.07.1963) support worker, he is living in supported accommodation for homeless men in Manchester. He is currently unable to access the housing register in Manchester due to arrears of £3000, which his previous landlord attributed to him abandoning the property. John, however, has served multiple custodial sentences and therefore did not abandon his residency. Can you please assist in providing John`s full prison records with there dates. I have a consent form which John has signed which I can send in a 2nd email.
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Michael

      The best way of getting details of a criminal record would be for your client to contact ACRO, the criminal records office. You can apply online for a Subject Access Request (SAR), there’s no charge and the police will provide the information within 30 days of receipt of application. You can find further information at,only%20and%20cannot%20be%20used%20for%20other%20purposes.

      Best wishes


  2. Hiya!
    In 2003-2006 i was false imprisoned in HMP.
    The first prison i was remanded in had signed visiting orders and CCTV which proved a main witness perjury on that long sentance, in which evented to cause me a massive panic attack, where i hit my head causing a brain injury, i was left in prison in that state and this has all been covered up, i literally only recently found out that a brain injury can kill from any point post event.
    I cannot get legal help, with funding cuts as are, but as was at the time that drove me to that ill state, the very prison i was held in, withheld evidence proving main witness on case commited pergury for me to be inprisoned.
    CCRC just say oh you’ll need more evidence than that, which is blatantly wrong.

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