Transfers can happen for a wide range of reasons while your are in prison. If you are nearing the end of your sentence the system may move you to a prison which is closer to where you will live after release. It could be that you have been “re-graded” from a Cat B to a Cat C, or that you have requested to move to be closer to family and friends or for a whole host of other reasons. Whatever the reason, you are given little choice in the matter!
Transfers sometimes are planned well in advance, but often as not the first you will know about it is when you are summoned to the wing office and told to pack your stuff. If this is the case you won’t be given much time to clear your cell and will be expected to pack all your good into large plastic sacks. If the transfer is just from one wing to another there are no real changes bar getting used to the new cellmate/wing officers.
If however you are moving prison you will be checked out by your “old” prison who will (should) check that you are not taking anything which is not noted as being in your possession. If you have borrowed a sweater from your cell mate it will (should) be taken from you but there is little likelihood that it will find its way back to your cellmate. It will end up in a charity shop even if it Armani.
Transport to the new prison will be by “sweat box” so the usual rules about trying to use the toilet facilities before you are loaded apply.
On arrival at your new prison you will be subjected to the usual searches and interviews. Your possession will be checked into the new prison, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to keep everything. Just because you were able to have 6 trainers at the old prison does not mean that you can have 6 trainers at the new prison. Any item you are not allowed to keep “in possession” will be stored for you by the prison.
You will be allocated a wing/cell the same as any new inmate and will go through the same induction process. Your IEP “status” i.e. enhanced, standard etc will not automatically follow you to your new prison and you may have to apply for this again, however it is usually automatically granted if you can prove your previous status.
Phone credit will follow you automatically but you may have to re-input the numbers into the system. Similarly your money will follow you automatically, so will any post or e-mails in the system. Any canteen orders which haven’t been delivered won’t follow you to the new prison. These will be returned to the canteen provider and the money credited to your account, but be warned this can take a couple of weeks. Most prison will allow you to have an emergency smokers pack if your canteen is cancelled.
Most prisons, as a concession, will honour any visit which you have booked at the “old” establishment, but it will be up to you to inform the visitors of the change in location.
- The first weeks in custody
- Life behind the wall doing time
- What can family and friends do to help
- How prison actually work
- Prison Officers
- Complaints and the IMB
- Minorities and non English speakers
- The rules and regulations