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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

What the prison service does

If someone you know is sent to prison, they must be treated fairly. The prison service must ensure that they are held in a safe environment, and that they cannot escape. Find out more about what prisoners can expect to find.

Keeping prisons secure

Making sure that prisons are protected and solidly fenced, so that nobody can get in or out without permission is one of the prison service’s most basic jobs.

Each prison must make sure that not only can inmates not escape, but also that nobody can enter who is not approved.

Prisons must also make sure that banned items (such as weapons, mobile phones or drugs) cannot be smuggled in or out.

Providing work for prisoners

While your friend or family member is held in prison, the prison will help them to gain job skills, working experience and qualifications by giving them jobs to do.

This is designed to help prisoners find work when they are released.

Many different types of work are available. These vary from one prison to the next, but can include:

  • woodwork
  • engineering
  • printing
  • farming
  • gardening

Prisoners can receive some payment for the work they do.

Providing healthcare in prison

The prison service must provide quality healthcare for all prisoners.

Prison staff work with their local NHS trust to make sure prisoners receive the same level of care that they would get in their own community.

However, it’s possible that some prisons might not have the facilities to deal with more severe health problems. In those cases, the prisoner involved may be moved to another prison or a hospital where they can receive the help they need.

Keeping prisoners safe

While your friend or family member is in prison, the staff there are required to keep them safe from violence.

Prisoners have a right to be protected from bullying or attacks by other prisoners. They must also be prevented from hurting themselves.

If prisoners have problems, or are afraid for their safety, they should alert prison staff. They are required to take actions to keep prisoners safe from harm.

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