What can you take when visiting a prisoner?

What can you take when visiting a prisoner?

What can you take when visiting a prisoner?

Visiting a loved one in prison can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s your first time. Understanding the rules and regulations about what you can bring along is crucial for a smooth visit. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the necessary information about what items are permitted when visiting a prisoner in the UK.

Understanding Prison Visit Regulations

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to note that each prison in the UK may have its own set of rules. However, there are general guidelines that most institutions follow. It’s always a good idea to check with the specific prison you’re visiting for any additional rules or restrictions.

Personal Identification

One of the most critical items to bring is a valid form of identification. This could be your passport, driving licence, or any other government-issued ID. Without this, you won’t be allowed entry into the facility.

Clothing and Dress Code

When it comes to clothing, prisons enforce a strict dress code. Avoid wearing anything that could be considered offensive or inappropriate. Clothes that resemble prison uniforms or staff uniforms are also a no-go. It’s best to opt for smart-casual attire that is respectful and non-revealing.

Money and Vending Machines

Most prisons have vending machines available during visits. You’re usually allowed to bring a small amount of money, often in coin form, to purchase snacks and drinks. However, there’s typically a limit to how much you can bring, so check this beforehand.

What can you take when visiting a prisoner?

What can you take when visiting a prisoner?

Items for Children

If you’re bringing children along, some prisons allow you to bring a small toy or book to keep them occupied. Again, it’s essential to check the specific rules of the prison you’re visiting as these can vary.


If you require medication, you’re generally allowed to bring it with you. However, you’ll need to declare it upon arrival, and it may need to be kept with the prison staff during your visit.

Gifts and Items for Prisoners

When it comes to bringing items for the prisoner, regulations are stringent. Most prisons do not allow you to bring gifts or personal items directly to the prisoner during a visit. Instead, you’ll need to send approved items through the prison’s property booking system or purchase them through the prison’s approved catalogues.

Letters and Photos

You might be allowed to bring a letter or photograph to give to the prisoner, but this varies by institution. These items will usually be inspected by the staff before being passed on.

Prohibited Items

There’s a long list of items that are strictly prohibited during prison visits. These include, but are not limited to, mobile phones, cameras, recording devices, drugs, alcohol, weapons, and any sharp objects. Bringing any of these items can result in being denied entry or even legal action.

Preparing for Security Checks

Be prepared for thorough security checks upon entering the prison. You and your belongings will be searched to ensure no prohibited items are being brought in. Cooperation and patience during this process are essential.

Emotional Preparedness

Aside from the physical items you can bring, it’s important to prepare emotionally for the visit. Visiting a loved one in prison can be emotionally taxing. It’s crucial to be supportive and positive during your visit, as this can significantly impact the prisoner’s well-being.


Visiting a prisoner in the UK requires a good understanding of the rules and regulations regarding what items you can bring. Always check with the specific prison for their guidelines to ensure a smooth visit. Remember, the focus of your visit should be on providing support and maintaining a positive connection with your loved one.