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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.


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Debbie Sadler
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