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Advice & Support  > Keeping in Touch  > Can I get help with the cost of prison visits?
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Can I get help with the cost of prison visits?

If you are aged 18 or over and on a qualifying income, you may be able to get help with the cost of travel when visiting a close relative or partner through the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme.

What is a ‘close relative or partner'?
A close relative means a wife, husband, daughter, son, parent, grandparent, sister, brother, civil partner or a step or adoptive parent/child/brother/sister.

A partner means someone who lived with the prisoner, as a couple, immediately before they were sent to prison.

I am under 18 and a close relative/partner, can I get help?
Yes but the person who supports you financially must be on a qualifying income as described below. Persons aged under 18 are not normally allowed to visit a prisoner alone. Someone will therefore need to accompany you and apply for assistance.

Can anyone else claim assistance?
Yes but they must be the prisoner's only visitor and on a qualifying income.

What is a ‘qualifying income'?
Qualifying income means you must be getting one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Employment & Support Allowance (Income related)*
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with a disability element. In all cases annual income as shown on the award notice must not exceed £17,474
  • Pension Credit
  • Help with healthcare costs because you have been awarded a HC2 or HC3 certificate.

*Until new documentation is available you should write ESA (IR) on the claim form in Part 2 - About Your Income. We will contact the Department for Work & Pensions to confirm payment of this allowance.

I need help during the journey. Can someone accompany me?
Yes but you must be aged over 75 or need help due to a medical condition.

Where can I get more information and an application form?

For further information and an application form please click on the links at the bottom of this page.

Alternatively, ask at the establishment you are visiting or visitors' centre (if they have one), or contact:

Assisted Prison Visits Unit
PO Box 2152
B15 1SD

 0845 300 1423 (Mon to Fri 10:15-11:45 & 14:15-15:45)
Textphone: 0845 304 0800 (times as above)
Fax: 0121 626 3474 (24 hrs)
Email: assisted.prison.visits@noms.gsi.gov.uk (please include your full postal address when requesting an information pack).

Information in Braille and on cassette or CD is available from the Assisted Prison Visits Unit. You can download an application form, information booklet, confirmation of a visit form, and  information in Welsh and a number of foreign languages by clicking on the links below.  An audio version of the information booklet is also available by clicking on the link below:

Information Booklet - mp3 version (will open in a media player)

Related Documents

Application Form Application Form (2098 KB)
Confirmation of visit form Confirmation of visit form (19 KB)
Information Booklet Information Booklet (130 KB)
Information Booklet - Albanian Information Booklet - Albanian (53 KB)
Information Booklet - Arabic Information Booklet - Arabic (610 KB)
Information Booklet - Bengali Information Booklet - Bengali (102 KB)
Information Booklet - Chinese Information Booklet - Chinese (229 KB)
Information Booklet - Gujarati Information Booklet - Gujarati (521 KB)
Information Booklet - Hindi Information Booklet - Hindi (147 KB)
Information Booklet - Polish Information Booklet - Polish (149 KB)
Information Booklet - Punjabi Information Booklet - Punjabi (82 KB)
Information Booklet - Urdu Information Booklet - Urdu (221 KB)
Information Booklet - Welsh Information Booklet - Welsh (93 KB)

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