Your First Week

After a couple of days you would have been contacted by the solicitor who will let you know if your loved one has been charged and should have information relating to where they will be remanded. You can also approach the police custody Sergeant for this information.

If you are concerned about any other issue be it medical or their mental heath, please contact the prison directly and ask to speak to an officer on reception, the prison doctor or chaplain. If you feel uncomfortable doing this contact one of our staff and we will be happy to help in anyway possible, there are lots of prison support groups for families who are keen to help you too.

It will be some time before they will be able to phone you, but they are all given a letter envelope and 2nd class stamp so that they can write and post a letter as soon as they are taken onto a wing in the prison.

What you can do here is start finding out about the prison rules, as each one varies in how money can be sent in or other property. Some prisons ask you to send cash (recorded delivery is best) and some ask for a postal order, always check with the prison before sending as they have different rules as to who to make the postal order out to. When the prisoner receives the money they should be able to apply to buy phone credit, as soon as they are given a individual pin number to use their credit with they may be able to start making calls.

Calls vary in what time of the day they are made, but usually they are for 10 minutes, it is possible to have your home line diverted to your mobile number, so that calls reach you wherever you are, BT have a service to do this, it won’t cost the prisoner any extra to be diverted to your mobile but you may be charged a small fee.

When you contact the prison for information it is best to make a list of what you need to ask, these things could consist of:

What prison number have they been given?
This must be used as a reference when booking visits or sending in mail.

Do I have to wait for a Visiting Order to be sent to me to book a visit or can I book one straight away?
The prison visits days and times, what you need to bring with you, i.e. passport driving licence as identification? And visiting order if applicable, (you can be refused entry without these).

What time should you arrive at the prison for a visit?
Some prisons ask you to arrive an hour before the visit is due to begin.