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What can I send in for my relative in prison?

Prisoners' property

Prisons have different rules about this, which can change.  Prisoners in the same prison but on different privilege levels may be allowed different things - so the best advice is to ring the prison and check what can be sent. 

No prison allows food, cigarettes or toiletries to be sent in (prisoners can buy these things from the prison shop or “canteen”).

You can send them money in the form of a postal order.  Some prisons will accept cheques but they take longer to clear. You will need to put their name and prison number on the back and also your own contact details as the sender. 

Most prisons ask for postal orders to be made payable to “HM Prison Service”, but it is a good idea to check with the prison before sending it as some prisons ask for it to be made out to “The Governor”, and if it is a private prison it will have to be made payable to the company who run the prison.

It is a good idea to send things by registered post.  See also our factsheet on Property and Money.