Prison property
Produced in partnership with Simon Creighton of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and Andrew Spurling of Tuckers Solicitors
Prison property

The following Corporate Crime practice note Produced in partnership with Simon Creighton of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and Andrew Spurling of Tuckers Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Prison property
  • Prison property
  • Stored property
  • Confiscation of prison property
  • Unconvicted prisoners
  • Authorised property
  • Authorised property outside volumetric controls
  • Valuable property
  • Disciplinary offences concerning property
  • Complaints about lost or damaged property

Prison property

Prison Rules 1999, SI 1999/728, r 43 provides statutory authority for the Secretary of State to issue directions concerning the property that prisoners are allowed to have while in custody as well as a requirement to maintain an inventory of each prisoners’ property and to confiscate unauthorised articles. All items that a prisoner is not permitted to retain in possession shall be taken into the governor’s custody. Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 12/2011 states that prisoners are entitled to retain ‘sufficient property in possession to lead as normal and individual an existence as possible within the constraints of the prison environment’. All items that a prisoner is not permitted to retain ‘in possession’ (property held by the prisoner in their cell) shall be taken into the governor’s custody. A governor also has this power where it would facilitate searching or would support the running of the prison incentive scheme (see Practice Note: Incentives and Earned Privilege Scheme).

PSI 12/2011 distinguishes between stored property and property held in possession. If stored property is lost while it is in the custody of the prison service (for example, in transit as a result of a transfer), and this property was on the prisoner's property record, then the prison may be liable to pay compensation. The Ministry of Justice does not normally accept any responsibility for property held in

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