Prison Adjudications

Prison Adjudications

Understanding Prison Adjudications in the UK: A Simple Guide


If you’re looking to grasp the concept of “Prison Adjudications” within the UK’s prison system, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a family member of an inmate, a legal professional, or someone facing time behind bars, understanding this process is crucial. This guide aims to break down what prison adjudications mean, how they work, and what you can expect from them.

What Are Prison Adjudications?

Prison Adjudications are formal disciplinary hearings held within the prison to address rule violations or misconduct by inmates. These are internal proceedings that aim to maintain order and discipline within the prison environment.

How Is a Prisoner Subject to a Prison Adjudication?

When a prisoner is suspected of breaking prison rules, such as possessing contraband or engaging in violent behaviour, they may be reported by prison staff. This report can trigger a prison adjudication process to determine the facts and decide on any disciplinary action.

Prison Adjudications

Prison Adjudications

The Process of a Prison Adjudication

  1. Initial Report: A prison officer files a report detailing the alleged misconduct.
  2. Preliminary Review: A senior officer reviews the report to decide if an adjudication is necessary.
  3. Hearing: If it goes ahead, a formal hearing is conducted where the prisoner can present their case. This is usually overseen by a prison governor or an independent adjudicator.
  4. Evidence and Testimony: Both sides can present evidence and witnesses.
  5. Decision: A verdict is reached based on the evidence presented.

Outcomes of a Prison Adjudication

The outcomes can vary depending on the severity of the misconduct. Possible outcomes include:

  • Loss of privileges (e.g., visitation rights)
  • Additional days added to the sentence
  • Solitary confinement
  • Referral to external authorities for criminal prosecution

Support for Prison Adjudications

Legal advice is generally not provided for internal prison adjudications, but prisoners have the right to consult the prison’s legal services for guidance. Some prisons also have peer support systems where experienced inmates can offer advice.

The Law on Prison Adjudications

Prison adjudications in the UK are governed by the Prison Rules 1999 and their subsequent amendments. These rules outline the procedures, rights of the accused, and possible penalties.


Understanding Prison Adjudications in the UK is essential for anyone involved with the prison system. These internal hearings play a crucial role in maintaining discipline and order within the prison environment. Knowing how the process works, what outcomes to expect, and what support is available can make navigating this complex system a bit easier. This guide aims to be your go-to resource for all things related to prison adjudications in the UK.

Prison Adjudications