Prison Clothing

Prison Clothing

Prison Clothing in the UK: Regulations and Personal Belongings

When entering the UK prison system, understanding the regulations surrounding prison clothing and personal belongings is crucial. This comprehensive guide provides insight into what items inmates are allowed to bring, the limitations on clothing, and other personal items permitted within the prison.

Prison Clothing Regulations

Upon entry into a UK prison, inmates are typically issued standard prison clothing. However, in some cases, inmates are allowed to wear their own clothes, depending on the prison’s rules and the inmate’s categorisation.

Allowed Prison Clothing Items

Inmates may bring a limited number of personal clothing items, which usually include:

  • T-shirts and Tops: Plain and without offensive logos or slogans.
  • Trousers and Jeans: Without excessive pockets or metal studs.
  • Underwear and Socks: A reasonable quantity for personal hygiene.
  • Jumpers and Sweatshirts: For warmth, especially during colder months.
  • Nightwear: Pyjamas or nightdresses for sleeping.

Prison Clothing

Prison Clothing

Not Allowed Prison Clothing Items

Certain clothing items are prohibited in UK prisons for security reasons:

  • Hooded Tops: Can obscure faces, posing a security risk.
  • Camouflage Clothing: Not permitted due to its association with military attire.
  • Clothing with Metal: Excessive metal can interfere with security equipment.
  • Offensive or Inappropriate Clothing: Anything deemed offensive or inappropriate is not allowed.

Clothing Limits in Prison

Prisons impose limits on the number of clothing items an inmate can have. This is to manage laundry facilities effectively and maintain order. The exact limits can vary by institution but generally include a set number of each clothing type.

Personal Belongings in Prison

In addition to clothing, inmates are allowed certain personal belongings, subject to security checks and prison regulations.

Allowed Personal Items

  • Clock: A small, battery-operated clock is often permitted.
  • Radio: Battery-operated radios are allowed, but inmates may need to use headphones.
  • Shoes: A pair of comfortable shoes for everyday wear and possibly a pair for exercise.
  • Jewellery: A wedding ring and a religious symbol, like a cross or St. Christopher medal, are typically allowed.

Prohibited Items

  • Electronic Devices: Mobile phones, smartwatches, and other electronic devices are not permitted.
  • Sharp Objects: Anything that could be used as a weapon is strictly prohibited.
  • Alcohol and Drugs: These are not allowed and possession can lead to severe penalties.


Navigating the rules surrounding prison clothing and personal belongings in the UK can be complex. Understanding what is allowed and what is not can help inmates and their families prepare for a prison term more effectively. While the regulations may seem restrictive, they are in place to ensure safety and security within the prison environment.