In this

Letters/Phonecalls/Email a Prisoner


You can write to an individual in custody as often as you like and there is not usually any restriction on the number of letters they can receive.  When you write, remember to put the person’s prison number and name on the letter. Your family member/friend can write back to you and will be allowed to send one free letter each week.  If they want to write more often they can, but will have to pay for the postage themselves.

From 13 December 2021, new legislation will come into force which may impact on correspondence you are sending to your loved one. The legislation provides Prison Officers and employees with powers to photocopy the correspondence. The individual in custody can be provided with the photocopy and the original correspondence retained and either returned to them on release or destroyed with their consent. In regards to confidentiality, the Prison Rules and Directions remain unchanged. Prison Officers and staff are not routinely able to read correspondence. 

Photographs and cards are considered as general correspondence. Governor's will have discretion to decide how these should be managed locally. Consideration should be given in the first instance to testing all cards and photographs using the Rapiscan Itemiser drug detection machine and issuing the original copies.

Email a Prisoner

You can send messages to an individual via the 'Email a Prisoner' website. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and the message gets delivered to the prison rapidly. The systems allow you to write an email, press 'send' and sit back in the knowledge the email will be delivered safely, securely and ready for delivery at the prison of your choice. Your message is printed inside the prison and will be included in the daily mail delivery. Please note - legally sensitive material/communications sent via this website are not subject to the usual privileged handling arrangements afforded to privileged mail. We recommend sending sensitive materials through the traditional channels.

You can access the Email a Prisoner website here:  Email a Prisoner - the hassle free way to keep in touch


Telephone Contact

There are telephones in the prison which individuals can use to telephone their families and friends.  However they will not be able to call whenever they like – there will probably be certain times of day the phones can be used. Please note is not possible to make a direct phone call to a prisoner. Individuals have to pay for their phone calls. The phone system works on a credit basis and payment comes from Prisoners Personal Cash account ‘PPC’ and/or wages/savings. Individuals are issued with a PIN number to access the outside line.  Soon after an individual is admitted to prison they are asked to submit a list of telephone numbers of family, friends and legal contacts.  They will only be allowed to call numbers on their list. 

However, if an individual needs to get in contact a family member urgently or anyone else for strong compassionate reasons and they have no telephone funds available they can discuss this with an Officer. They can also ask to speak to the Family Contact Officer (FCO). If you need to get an urgent message to a prisoner contact the prison on the phone number listed on the website.  You can ask to speak with the FCO or the Manager of the Hall where your family member is located.  Messages appropriate to be passed on this way include news of illness or death in the family, or the birth of a baby.  You should be aware that prison staff can listen to telephone conversations. Both sides of the conversation can be heard.

Posting Money

You can send money to the individual and we recommend sending a Postal Order by Recorded Delivery.  The amount of spending money an individual is allowed each week depends on whether they are untried or convicted and the privilege level they are on. The money will be transferred to the prisoners PPC account. 

It is advisable to write the individual’s name and prison number on the back of the Postal Order.  If the individual doesn’t receive the Postal Order you can check the status of Recorded Delivery items with the Post Office via their Tracking System


Transfer Money - Online Banking Facility

The SPS can now accept money for prisoners transferred via your own online banking facility, set up to support those in custody during the COVID 19 outbreak. This will provide a safe way of sending money to friends and family.

For more information and instructions on how to use this facility, please click on the link below.

Online Banking Facility

Online Banking Facility (PDF version)


Posting Items

You may send individuals clothing and shoes using the ‘Pro-Forma’ process.  Individuals can send you a list (Pro Forma) of items that have been approved by the prison. You may either hand in the goods to the prison with the Pro Forma or post these again with the Pro Forma.  If you are posting we advise that you use the Recorded Delivery system from the Post Office.

Individuals cannot be sent or handed in toiletries but they can purchase a range of items from the prison shop which is referred to as the ‘canteen’. What items are available from the canteen vary from prison to prison but generally things like toiletries and snack items will be on sale.