Prisoners in jail can be visited by friends, family and their legal team – but there are rules and regulations which apply to prison visits.
Convicted prisoners are usually allowed one visit every fortnight unless in exceptional circumstances, when a request can be made for a visit to a prisoner.
Category A prisoners may be subjected to additional risk assessment regarding any visitors, even if close friends and family are visiting.
There may also be prison rules about children visiting convicted prisoners.
Convicted prisoners or prisoners on remand have to issue a visitor with a Visiting Order (VO) which has a reference number that must be quoted when arranging the visit.
Unconvicted prisoners on remand are entitled to three visits a week by appointment, limited to one visit per day, not counting visits from legal representatives.
Young offenders are usually allowed three visits every month – not counting visits from a legal representative or social worker.
Civil prisoners are in jailed for civil offences rather than crimes, such as refusal to pay Council Tax. Civil prisoners are entitled to three visits a week, each lasting an hour and an appointment has to be made in advance. Only one visit per day is allowed, however. Visits from legal representatives are not included in the three visits allowed.
Prison visits are extremely important to offenders in jail – keeping in touch with friends and family boosts morale and can help a prisoner adjust to life in jail and stick to a sentence plan and rehabilitation.
In some cases, visits may be closed, with a glass window between a prisoner and a visitor. This may occur of it is thought there is a risk items might be passed between a prisoner and a visitor – or there is a risk of injury to either a prisoner or a visitor.
It can be extremely distressing for a visitor to have to talk to a loved one through a window, however.
Prison staff are responsible for reviewing closed visits and assessing whether these need to continue.
Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors can advise prisoners on appeals against closed visits – and applying for permission for a visit in exceptional circumstances; for example, if a family member is ill or a child needs to see a parent.
Duncan Lewis can also advise on cases where the Governor may have refused permission for a visitor to see a prisoner and a prisoner feels that this is unfair or unnecessary.
Call Duncan Lewis as soon as possible for legal advice on visits and appeals against closed visits, or any other prison law matter.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – and our prison law solicitors regularly visit police stations, prisons and courts to advise on criminal law and prison law.
For expert legal advice on prison visits and appeals against closed visits, call Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors on 020 7923 4020.
For urgent prison law advice or 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Under reforms to Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis is no longer able to offer public funding for legal advice on prison visits and appeals against closed visits.
However, Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors are usually able to offer competitively priced fixed fees to our clients, with notice of legal costs in advance whenever possible.
To speak to one of our prison law experts about prison visits and appeals against closed visits, call Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors now on 020 7923 4020.