Helpful Advice

What to take with you if you are going to serve a prison sentence

If you find yourself facing a prison sentence and you have the opportunity to pack a bag of clothing, here are some tips that might help you decide what to take.

All establishments have slightly different policies and items that they issue. Most establishments also have a clothing shop that you can apply to visit and buy cheap new or second-hand items.

You will not be allowed any electronic items, no sharp items or barred items.
All property over you allowance will be stored as ‘Stored Property’ which you can access and swap by appointment.

In your first weeks you will be allowed a parcel of clothing items to be sent in, you will not be allowed additional parcels during your sentence except by special permission.


When you arrive you will be issued with some prison issue clothing, normally a grey tracksuit, socks. You can also request basic trainers, slippers. knickers and possibly a fleece coat as well as shorts and T-shirt for use in the Gym.
You will only be allowed to have a limited number of items in your possession, any items over that limit will be kept in your stored property.

In Female establishments the allowance will be something like 15 tops, 9 bottoms, 3 dresses (although dresses can sometimes be counted as both a top and bottom. 2 x Trainers, 3 x pairs of shoes/boots. It is advisable to have a pair of flip flops for the shower and avoid open toe shoes as some establishments do not allow them. Underwear is generally unlimited. You will also be permitted 2-3 sets of pyjamas or night clothes.

It is advisable to take your own pair of decent trainers that you can use in the Gym as well as some Gym Kit that you are comfortable to work out in. these will all be included in your clothing allowance

It is advisable to take comfortable clothing of a variety of thicknesses, the temperatures in prison can range from being really hot to really chilly.

You will be issued with a towel, however you may appreciate having your own bath towel. A dressing gown would also be advisable.


You will not be allowed to take in make-up, any creams or liquids or electric toothbrushes. All these items will either be issued to you or you will have to buy them with your allowance from the canteen sheet which is issued once a week.

I hope you found this information helpful.