HomeUK Rule of LawLegal and Legislation › Prisons and Probation
Prison, Probation, and Sentencing

What is HM Prison Service? The role of Her Majesty's Prison Service is to keep those who got sentenced for prison time in safe custody.

UK Prison: This guide explains the full process for sentencing prisoners.

The Ministry of Justice sponsors HM Prison Service in the United Kingdom.

HMPS help those imprisoned lead law-abiding and useful lives.

Their role begins while prisoners are in a prison cell and it continues after they get released.

There is further detailed information about prison probation in Britain.

Find out how the probationary system works for prisoners in the UK.

Families of prisoners who need extra support will find all you need to know in this prison section.

HM Prison Service Guide

Assisted Prison Visits Unit

Find out how to apply for financial help with travel costs if you visit a partner or close relative in prison.

Helpline for Prisoners’ Families
Telephone: 0808 808 3444
Email: [email protected]

There are special helplines offering support to families and friends of prisoners.

The Offenders’ Families Helpline
Telephone: 0808 808 2003
Email: [email protected]

Prison Visits

Some prisons can be difficult to reach and costly when using public transport. Find out where and how to get help with the cost of making prison visits.

Benefits and Prison

Your allowances and entitlements may change or stop if you have been sent to prison. But, extra help is available from an adviser about benefits and prison terms.

Electronic Tag

Following electronic tagging rules is most often a community service condition. The tagging of criminals is often a conditions for an early release from prison.

Find a Prison or Prisoner

Find a Prison

You can find a prison address and visiting times by searching the Justice website. It gives contact details and information on all prisons in England and Wales.

Find a Prisoner

You can still find a prisoner even when you do not know which prison they are in. But, the prisoner must give permission for their information to get shared. The exception is if you belong to certain organisations such as the police or a firm of solicitors.

Prisoner Location Service

Fax: 0121 626 3474
PO Box 2152 Birmingham B15 1SD

Parole System

Getting Parole

Find out who can get parole for determinate and indeterminate sentences and how to represent yourself at a Parole Board hearing.

Parole for Young Offenders

Information how to apply for parole if you are a young offender. Find out who can apply and what help is available.

Leaving Prison

Learn how a prisoner gets released from jail and how the process works for leaving prison in the United Kingdom. It includes extra information about resettlement schemes and getting a temporary release on licence.


What is probation and how does the probationary system work in the United Kingdom? The definition of probation is serving out a court sentence within the community.

Prison Life

Prison Rules

What happens when a prisoner first arrives at a prison? What are the privileges and rights for prisoners? Find detailed information on prison rules and regulations and what to expect from life in prison.

Sending Money

Use this link if you want to send money to a prisoner in England and Wales. You can use debit card or bank transfer without charge. Note that you can only send money to prisoners in publicly-run prisons in England and Wales.

Staying in Touch

Find out the rules and procedures for keeping in touch with someone in prison. You can make contact with a prisoner by personal visit, by letter, and through telephone calls.

Types of Prison Sentences

There are several different types of prison sentences with differing conditions attached. For example, the courts can give a suspended sentence, indeterminate, fixed-term, and life sentences.

Visiting Someone in Prison

Follow these procedures when you want to make a request to visit someone in a prison in England and in Wales. You will need to know the prisoner number, their date of birth, and the dates of birth for all visitors visiting with you.

Independent Monitoring Boards

You can volunteer to check standards inside a prison by joining one of the Independent Monitoring Boards. Find out how to apply and volunteer to join IMB.

Prison and Prisoner Probation in the United Kingdom