View Full Version : Going to Prison in England - What happens at first?


Paul1983
10-26-2007, 02:23 PM
I saw a very good post on here about what to expect when you actually get sentenced and the first few days in prison in USA. Was wondering if anybody could do something similar in relation to England.

I go back to court in November for sentencing and am told to expect a stretech. This will be my first time and I am worried about it alot. The worst part for me is not not knowing what to expect, who's who and what to do. I've seen it in the movies so many times but know it wouldn't really be like that - hope not anyway.

All I know is that I would be going to a Cat B prison first but it would be great to find out what I could bring in, what happens between court and getting there, how much they search you, what you do on your first day and night and so on. I know it's asking alot but would be great to find out from someone who knows the reality themselves or from someone else.

One last thing is there any gang stuff in prisons in England? I've read about it in America but not over here.

Crone
10-26-2007, 06:46 PM
Paul1983,

Welcome to PTO. I don't have any answers for you. Hopefully someone with some knowledge about your questions will be along soon.

Best of luck to you!

biglinmarshall
10-30-2007, 05:16 PM
It depends on how lucky you are. If you're like two friends of mine who spent time inside you'll be alright. If you're like another two friends of mine then you can expect beatings, rape, abuse from guards and other inmates.

On the other hand it could be worse - compared with Third World countries British jails are not too bad.

exinmate76
01-29-2008, 06:05 AM
i was wondering if there are gangs in english prisons

littlepluto
04-23-2008, 05:35 PM
Hi,

I've known 3 people to go into UK prison and no, you will not find gangs like there are at USA prisons. The only things is these inmates hate rapists and pedophiles...there has been backlash from inmates against these particular set of prisoners.
May I ask what you have been charged with?

sunshine2008
09-27-2008, 03:54 AM
I do not think that there are as many gangs as there are in American prisons but there may be some, depending where you are sent. In any case, watch your back.

You should read a book by Jeffrey Archer called 'A Prison Diary'. Trust me that book is what you need to read to see what goes on. I read it and it gives you details about what happened from when he left court, to been strip searched...right through his stay inside. It can give you a definate insight. He started at a Cat A and worked his way down to a D.

I hope that helps :)

COJER
11-11-2008, 07:21 AM
I do not think that there are as many gangs as there are in American prisons but there may be some, depending where you are sent. In any case, watch your back.

You should read a book by Jeffrey Archer called 'A Prison Diary'. Trust me that book is what you need to read to see what goes on. I read it and it gives you details about what happened from when he left court, to been strip searched...right through his stay inside. It can give you a definate insight. He started at a Cat A and worked his way down to a D.

I hope that helps :)

"There is a child of seventeen in the cell below me who has been charged with shoplifting - his first offence, not even convicted - and he is being locked up for eighteen and a half hours, unable to speak to anyone: This Great Britain in the 21st century, not Turkey, not Nigeria, not Kosovo, but Britain. This same young man will now be spending at least a fortnight with murderers, rapists, burglars and drug addicts. Are these the best tutors he can learn from?"

That is scary.

joshdudley
11-26-2008, 06:05 AM
"There is a child of seventeen in the cell below me who has been charged with shoplifting - his first offence, not even convicted - and he is being locked up for eighteen and a half hours, unable to speak to anyone: This Great Britain in the 21st century, not Turkey, not Nigeria, not Kosovo, but Britain. This same young man will now be spending at least a fortnight with murderers, rapists, burglars and drug addicts. Are these the best tutors he can learn from?"

That is scary.

What is a non-violent offender doing in the company of rapists and murderers? I thought the whole idea of a prison classification system was to ensure any negative influences on less experienced criminals was limited?

I thought shoplifters, if they even go to prison (which most seem not to), would be in a Class D, open prison? They are not a threat to anyone, the only purpose of sentencing for them is to make them suffer a loss of liberty for a short period to teach them not to steal.

joshdudley
11-26-2008, 06:08 AM
I saw a very good post on here about what to expect when you actually get sentenced and the first few days in prison in USA. Was wondering if anybody could do something similar in relation to England.

I go back to court in November for sentencing and am told to expect a stretech. This will be my first time and I am worried about it alot. The worst part for me is not not knowing what to expect, who's who and what to do. I've seen it in the movies so many times but know it wouldn't really be like that - hope not anyway.

All I know is that I would be going to a Cat B prison first but it would be great to find out what I could bring in, what happens between court and getting there, how much they search you, what you do on your first day and night and so on. I know it's asking alot but would be great to find out from someone who knows the reality themselves or from someone else.

One last thing is there any gang stuff in prisons in England? I've read about it in America but not over here.

I've heard people say there is a lot of racial strife in prisons, between Whites & Asians in particular. However our prisons are a lot less violent and threatening compared to those in America, invariably because of the calibre of inmates.

In Texas for example it was found that of the 100,000 inmates incarcerated in Texan prisons some 46,000 had killed someone (either murder of manslaughter).

Its more likely that in a UK prison you will be incarcerated with people who have commited similar offences to you.

If you're really frightened of what may happen ask for protective custody, I'd advise consulting a prison barrister and a human rights one, between them they should be able to state your case (i.e. you are a new inmate who is in fear of what may happen once inside).

Moodle
02-20-2009, 11:01 AM
"There is a child of seventeen in the cell below me who has been charged with shoplifting - his first offence, not even convicted - and he is being locked up for eighteen and a half hours, unable to speak to anyone: This Great Britain in the 21st century, not Turkey, not Nigeria, not Kosovo, but Britain. This same young man will now be spending at least a fortnight with murderers, rapists, burglars and drug addicts. Are these the best tutors he can learn from?"

That is scary.

This worried me big time. My husband has just been locked up in a Cat B prison. He is a low level offender, never done anything wrong in his life. His crime was according to the prosecuting police officer - just a stupid mistake. Now he's in there and I don't know what to do!! Haven't even had a phone call from him yet :sad&blue:

Please help. :(

mrskhan88
06-01-2009, 09:13 AM
my partner was sent to HMP Liverpool 2 yrs ago (a cat b prison) for armed robbery, today he has been moved to a cat d prison (kirkham). it wasnt his 1st conviction but he still gets very nervous being moved about let alone going in. it just depends on your character to be honest. like someone said above UK prisoners detest rapists and paedophiles, they make their lives hell. so you'll be fine as long as you're not one of those.
again as someone said above aswell you're more than likely to end up on a wing where the crimes are similar.
dont worry too much just keep your chin up x

judypatudy
06-09-2009, 05:10 PM
Hi,

I've known 3 people to go into UK prison and no, you will not find gangs like there are at USA prisons. The only things is these inmates hate rapists and pedophiles...there has been backlash from inmates against these particular set of prisoners.
May I ask what you have been charged with?



My other half was in on violent assault, but he set a pedophile
on fire and has more time to serve..

tinkerbell_jen
08-13-2009, 07:59 AM
Im currently working at a UK prison and in the prison im at there are no gangs x

2nice
10-25-2009, 07:03 PM
"There is a child of seventeen in the cell below me who has been charged with shoplifting - his first offence, not even convicted - and he is being locked up for eighteen and a half hours, unable to speak to anyone: This Great Britain in the 21st century, not Turkey, not Nigeria, not Kosovo, but Britain. This same young man will now be spending at least a fortnight with murderers, rapists, burglars and drug addicts. Are these the best tutors he can learn from?"

That is scary.

That is real strange, because the prison system here in the UK is really hot on only putting juveniles in juvenile facilities... JA is a grown man, so he would be in an adul;t facility, so that young man should not have been there!

UKLisa
02-11-2010, 10:09 AM
I spent 6 months in Holloway. There werent gangs as such, but most women were in fairly formal cliques, which you didn't risk getting on the wrong side of.

UK hot on juvenile facilities? Not where i was sent - we had girls as young as 14 thrown in with us.

COJER
03-20-2010, 08:25 PM
I have just come out of prison a few days ago so i'll type my experience -

After you're sentenced, you go straight down to the reception area, where they search you, go through your bags, count your money (they tried to steal all my cash), and then throw anything that you won't be allowed to take to prison in the bin, you fill out a few forms, they give you a leaflet that tells you about what will happen next and ask you if you want anything to eat, then you're handcuffed while you walk about 3 ft to your holding cell (seriously), you'll be in there until your solicitor or barrister (or family if you requested it and the judge approves it, but probably won't because of constant staff shortages) comes down to see you, they'll tell you if there's any point in appealing, after that you're put back into your holding cell until everyone has been sentenced (so just hope you don't get sentenced really early or you'll be in a holding cell for hours). After a few hours you'll get handcuffed and led to a prison van and taken to the nearest remand jail. When you get to the remand jail, you'll first get your bags searched again and they'll take anything that you can't take onto the wings off of you, then you'll be put into a holding cell (with a few smack/crackheads and immigrants probably) and you'll wait there until an officer calls out your name, you go through to another room where you get your picture taken for your ID card, sit in the BOSS (Body Orifice Scanner) chair and then get strip searched. After that you go and collect your prison kit (bed sheets (you'll be lucky to get a pillow), prison clothes, eating utensils and a plate and bowl) and you can get a shower if you want, then you go and pick what you wanna eat and you're put into another holding cell where apparantly you can make a phonecall (except none of your numbers have been approved!). After hours of waiting about, you're taken down to the induction wing where you'll be greeted by a greeter who asks you a few questions and tells you some prison basics, then you go into the office to see the SO (senior officer) where you can purchase tobacco or phone credit (you also get an induction park with some toiletries and smokers pack if you're a smoker), they'll ask you if you have any problems with sharing a cell with someone too (not that they'll do anything if you do), they then tell you that you'll start the induction the next day, lead you to your cell and you're banged up for the night :)

UKLisa
05-03-2010, 01:34 PM
Pretty much the same for women too

onlyyours
05-09-2010, 03:25 AM
well- did you see thta in a movie or have been through it... lol.. it is not!!!! as worse as you describe it-- please be realistic...

UKLisa
05-09-2010, 12:54 PM
well- did you see thta in a movie or have been through it... lol.. it is not!!!! as worse as you describe it-- please be realistic...

Er, no "Onlyyours" it is exactly as described. I should know, I spent 6 months in Holloway. I wish I had only "seen it in a movie":blah:

Clearly your hubby is shielding you from the truth, probably to protect poor old you?

onlyyours
05-13-2010, 10:21 AM
haha- i have spend 18 month In holloway.. my hubby does not to protect me for anything.. - smile... but .. anyway.. it seems to everyone different.. all the european prisons are holiday camps(!!!!!) compared to the United states Prisons... donīt let it seem worse then it is!!! well, my opinion.. donīt mean to offend anyone!

bangedupnick
09-29-2010, 04:50 PM
... like someone said above UK prisoners detest rapists and paedophiles, they make their lives hell. so you'll be fine as long as you're not one of those...

Not true. I've recently come out of a cat-B prison in the UK, and they have a whole wing dedicated to "vulnerable" prisoners, also known as VP's, or known as being "on the rule" (prison rule 45 which caters for them). So whether you are a sex offender, paedophile, or for any other reason you are in that category (and you can choose to go on the rule, as I did), you are kept on your own wing physically separated from the prisoners in the rest of the prison.

As it is a complete wing of 200 prisoners you get all the facilities that are available to other prisoners such as access to work, education, library, association, and exercise (where you often found youself being cat-called by other non-VP prisoners with abuse like "peeeedo" lol).

As for bullying it does happen occasionally, but not often as the prison staff come down very heavily on the bully, resulting in them being subject to IEP warnings and worse.

And since the average sex offender is not your average thug or "oik" they are often intelligent urbane individuals who make for good stimulating and interesting company. I know that my decision to go "on the rule" was the right one for me.

leah26exHMP
12-01-2010, 08:24 AM
I spent 6 months in Holloway. There werent gangs as such, but most women were in fairly formal cliques, which you didn't risk getting on the wrong side of.

UK hot on juvenile facilities? Not where i was sent - we had girls as young as 14 thrown in with us.
adults and Y/OS where seperated in eastwood park few years back, except on detox wing, where we were put with adults, we would mix with them but couldnt share a cell. they were very funny about letting us mix, but now they have changed the wings the y.os mix with adults on the new enhanced wing, it all depends on iep. aswell, if u enhanced your more likely to mix with other enhanced women yo and adult, basic you wont.....every prisons diffrent. specially when it comes to men n womens. :)

felicity2011
06-23-2011, 09:54 AM
Am pretty sure the incident with the young kid being banged up with murderers Mr. Archer was referring to took place in HMP Belmarsh. It's probably be the toughest of the lot, which probably explains it. It would explain why a person arrested for what he was arrested for and why he was in such a tough place like Belmarsh, which is reserved for the most dangerous offenders

A lot of this will vary, but it's a fact that a lot of criminals don't like child abusers. Inmates who know of pedophiles in prison will make their lives hell in somewhere like Belmarsh if they can skate away with it, that is a fact. Ian huntley was subject to many threats against his life (he is in Belmarsh). A woman who was accused of killing her children was subject to an attempted napalm attack (sugar and hot water sticks to the skin). Believe me the guards have to segregate pedophiles for their own safety because it's a nasty place for one of them to be

I read his book a while back but can't remeber all the details, but it tallies remarkably with the description posted above
in female jails. Not sure about the men's ones

I haven't heard of any hard gangs in jail like the US Bloods and Crips, they tend to have just groups of people who you don't want to mess with in female prisons

Hope it helps
Fliss

COJER
07-29-2011, 08:29 AM
Sorry to necropost, I haven't been in here for ages.

Anyway, what I posted is my personal experience of the post-sentencing-prison process, I actually made it sound better than it actually is! Although it wasn't 'bad' by any means; I was in a joint cat A/B training prison (Durham) for my full sentence as a cat C prisoner.

In my experience (as a male sex offender), it isn't the other inmates you need to keep an eye on, it's the 'screws', you might have read about the power abuse, the lack of respect, the de-humanising of prisoners and think 'naaa, not in the 21st century', but it happens and I was a popular, privileged prisoner with arguably the best job in the prison (library orderly) and a lot of pull (when I was off the wing I could basically do anything I wanted to) , I met some of the best people I have ever came across in my life in prison in other inmates.

Anyway, that's my personal experience of a cat A/B remand prison as a cat C prisoner. Sorry to sound harsh; but that is my experience, I'm not saying it will be yours but my experience is non-debatable - that's what happened, like it or not, agree with it or not. Opinions like onlyyours are borderline offensive, if your experience differs, then share it! Don't critique mine like a story I just made up.

EDIT: In UK prisons there isn't gangs as such, but people of the same ethnic origin tend to stick together - on exercise or gym, you'll probably really notice the segregation; a huge group of Chinese, another group of North Korean's, Vietnamese etc...

UKTF2012
10-20-2012, 07:31 AM
I have some mental issues which are about to land me inside and proving them is too difficult to do, so I intend to bite my lip and take this on the chin.. I avoid parole meetings now because I just dont care any more and I think I might be sent down for that. I have two questions, if someone would be kind enough to answer..

Firstly, how do other prisoners handle a moderately hysterical inmate?
(May or may not arise, it varies and can go on for hours weeks and months).

I do not care at all about physical violence, it seems I fail to know all this when dealing with some situations in front of me (my memory is damaged quite badly and thats so hard to prove), so no doubt I will end up in general population with however many irritated cell mates. I just thought I would ask since I do not know and have this next main question any-way.

All of the previous posts more or less confirmed what I thought it would be like, with a couple of revealing items of interest, though since I seached for 'what to expect?' by way of 'going to prison for the first time' for a different reason, not mentioned, I have had to ask it here too.

It is a bit of a broad question, though basically involves the aspect of DSS payments and housing. I mean, what is the general result if you end up inside for say 12 months or somthing? Is it expected you do not have a home when you get out? IE: DSS stops and payments you set up do not go through or what?.

Any broad answer to this is most welcomed, as you can imagine, I do not think to ask these questions if I even go to parole, instead my conversation takes random turns, I even mostly fail to remember I am supposed to be requesting a tag in court.

I would take the tag for life rather than a 12 month parole I keep missing through all this. I think someone needed to point out we exist!.

Believe me or not, I require the answers.
Whether you think I am lying here or not, there are truly valid reasons which I can prove in writing but it just does not translate well to others it seems.

Peepydoops arriving... Despite he never really was. (deathwish hysterium)

Thanks for your time.

(to clarify, I would be a drooling zombie by now were it not for the computer and the fact I learned the software/s whilst my memory fell to bits, this is all I know, computers, I never leave the chair, except to sleep on the couch, if theses questions are answered I can at least write down some memos to attempt some direcetion of attitude and a reminder of what will be the case upon leaving prison, then that might slowly sink in, for the duration of the term and I can plan what to do if I have to start from zero when out) "Keep warm" -A wailing banshee once told me.

UKTF2012
10-20-2012, 01:50 PM
Sorry about the banshee bit.. but all this secretive crap makes me itch, if the world is not changing, I guess I have my purpose.

Its not even remotely about fighting law.

UKTF2012
10-22-2012, 07:47 AM
My other half was in on violent assault, but he set a pedophile
on fire and has more time to serve..


Oh, lovely.... nothing like a bit of skin missing to give you that 'just awoke' feeling, I feel invigourated already.

patchouli
10-22-2012, 08:23 AM
Welcome to PTO! Keep in mind that those sort of things don't happen as often as TV/Media would lead us to believe. Keep a low profile, be respectful and show no fear.

binary
01-03-2013, 03:56 AM
Having served time in a UK prison I'll give you what I know.

From court you will go to a Category B (as you know), unless you get sentanced at The Old Baily, where you will go to a Category A - Belmarsh. You will remain at the Category B until you have been risk assesed and categorized depending on your sentance length and crime. Your risk is based on the type of crime, you risk of escape etc.

At the Category B you will be placed on the induction wing where you will remain for about a week. It may be shorter, it may be longer. You will attend a number of meetings where they go over the prison regime, work, education etc. You will do this in any prison you go to regardless of how long you've already served.

The first week is hard. No money, no tobacco (if you smoke).

You have to get used to the regime. There is no other option. Just try to read a lot, and get a job where you are out of your pad like a wing cleaner. In B cats it's pretty much 23 hour bang up for normal prisoners without jobs. In C cats it's much less and in D cats (open jails) you're free all day.

Work towards getting to a D cat prison. You can be sent there if you have up to 2 years left on your sentance, or if you've served 3 quaters of your sentance in closed conditions, whichever number is greater.

I have to go, but if you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

Just one last thing, prison is awful. Make no mistake, it's demoralizing. Make some decent friends, there are a number of decent people in prison. Stay away from drugs, you'll end up in deep shit one way or another.

Liverpoolgirl
09-12-2013, 06:47 PM
What are we allowed to send to prisoners? Are we allowed to send books etc in?