Transferring Prisons

Why may a prisoner be transferred?

There are many reasons why a prisoner serving his sentence in one prison may be transferred to another within the duration of their sentence. Some of these reasons include:

  • Their security category has changed

  • In order to serve the final weeks of their sentence in a prison nearer their home

  • The prisoner’s sentence plan requires them to complete a course which is not available at the prison they are in, such as drug and alcohol, or anger management schemes

  • They are behaving in a disruptive way

  • Category A prisoners are routinely moved from time to time for security reasons

  • For their own safety if they are being bullied within the original prison

  • If their main visitor has a medical problem making visits impossible.

  • If they no longer need to be kept in such a high security facility, i.e. transferred to open prison conditions

Can a prisoner request a transfer?

Under UK law, a person sent to prison can be held in any prison. A prisoner has no legal right to request which prison they want to serve their sentence in. A prisoner does not have any legal right to be transferred to a prison of their choice.

A prisoner may apply to be transferred to a different prison, but whether or not this is granted will be the decision of then Prison Governor, unless the prisoner is a category A prisoner, or a prisoner serving a life sentence, on which the decision will be made by the Prison Headquarters.

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For more information on:

  • Prison location policy
  • Transfer refusal
  • Can a prisoner be transferred without informing the family?
  • Failure to inform relatives of prisoner transfer
  • Temporary transfers