Comprehensive Guide to the Prisoner Location Service in the UK

The Prisoner Location Service in the UK is a vital tool for those seeking to locate a family member, friend, or someone they believe is currently in prison.

The service is designed to help individuals find out which prison an inmate is housed in, ensuring that loved ones can maintain contact despite the challenges of incarceration.

Prisoner Location Service Information

Prison Location Service: What You Need to Know

To utilise the Prisoner Location Service effectively, certain information is required. This includes:

  • Your full name and, if applicable, the organisation you represent.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your address, including the postcode.
  • The full name of the person you are trying to locate.
  • Any additional information that could assist in identifying the correct prisoner, such as their date of birth, the prisoner’s home address, and the reason for their imprisonment.

Process and Timeframe for Prison Location Service

Once you have gathered the necessary information, you need to complete a specific form provided by the service. There is typically an administrative fee for processing this request, which can vary. It is important to note that the process may take up to 40 days to complete as the service liaises with various prison establishments to verify the prisoner’s location​​​​​​.

Who Can Use the Service? The Prisoner Location Service is accessible to anyone with a legitimate reason to locate a prisoner. This includes family members, friends, legal representatives, and sometimes organizations such as social services or charities. The service aims to balance the need for privacy and security with the rights of inmates to stay in contact with their loved ones.

Benefits of the Service

Using the Prisoner Location Service offers several benefits:

  1. Maintaining Family Ties: Regular contact with family can significantly impact a prisoner’s mental well-being and rehabilitation prospects.
  2. Legal and Administrative Assistance: Ensuring that legal representatives and other essential services can find and assist prisoners effectively.
  3. Peace of Mind: Providing family and friends with the necessary information to maintain contact and provide support.

How to Apply To apply for the Prisoner Location Service, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain the Form: Access the application form through the official Prisoner Location Service website or contact them directly for assistance.
  2. Fill Out the Form: Complete all required fields with accurate information.
  3. Submit the Form: Send the completed form along with the administrative fee to the specified address. Ensure all details are correct to avoid delays.
  4. Await Confirmation: Once submitted, wait for confirmation from the service, which may take several weeks.

Costs Involved There is a nominal fee for using the Prisoner Location Service, primarily covering administrative costs. This fee ensures the service can operate efficiently and provide accurate information. The cost might be adjusted based on specific requirements or expedited services if available​​​​.

Limitations and Privacy Considerations The Prisoner Location Service operates under strict guidelines to protect the privacy of prisoners. Not all requests may be fulfilled if there are legitimate security concerns or if the information provided is insufficient to accurately locate the prisoner. It is also essential to respect the privacy and legal rights of inmates during this process.

Conclusion The Prisoner Location Service is an invaluable resource for those needing to find a prisoner within the UK. By following the proper procedures and providing the necessary information, you can ensure that your request is processed efficiently, enabling you to maintain vital connections with your loved ones in prison.


  1. Can anyone use the Prisoner Location Service? Yes, anyone with a legitimate reason, such as family members, friends, or legal representatives, can use the service to locate a prisoner.

  2. How long does it take to locate a prisoner? The process can take up to 40 days, depending on the complexity of the case and the accuracy of the information provided.

  3. Is there a cost associated with the service? Yes, there is an administrative fee for processing the request, which covers the costs of liaising with various prisons and verifying information.

  4. What information do I need to provide? You need to provide your full name, date of birth, address, and the name of the prisoner you are trying to locate. Additional details such as the prisoner’s date of birth or home address can help expedite the process.

  5. What happens if the prisoner cannot be located? If the prisoner cannot be located due to insufficient information or other restrictions, the service will inform you of the outcome and may suggest further steps.

Want to find a prisoner? Use our Find a Prisoner service. For more detailed information on UK prison services, check out this government resource.