Advice that makes a difference
Prisoners - letters
If you’re in prison, it’s very important to keep in touch with family and friends. This fact sheet is about keeping in touch by letter. It’s for prisoners and their family and friends.
If you’re in prison, you can usually write letters to anyone you want, as long as what you write follows prison guidelines. You will, however, need to get permission from the prison governor to write to some people. For example, you need the governor’s permission before you can: advertise publicly for a pen-friend write to the person you committed the offence against or their family write to another prisoner at a different prison. But there are some exceptions to this rule. There are rules which restrict what you can write in a letter. For example, the governor can stop letters if: they’re considered to be a threat to security they would cause distress or anxiety to the person you’re writing to they are not easily understood, for example, because they are in code. Special rules also apply if you’re writing to the media, for example, a radio or TV programme. If a letter’s stopped, you’ll be told. The letters of some prisoners are read before they go out, for example, if you’re in a high security prison or if you’re a Category A prisoner. The governor can also order that your outgoing letters are read if they think this will stop a crime happening or help them detect a crime. Some letters are read at random. You can complain if you think your letters are being read without a good reason. How many letters can you send If you’re on remand, that is, you haven’t been convicted yet, you can send two letters a week, paid for by the prison. If you’re a convicted prisoner, you can send one letter a week paid for by the prison. You may be able to send more than these letters if you pay for the postage yourself but this is a privilege that can sometimes be taken away....
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