Prisoners' Rights

We assist prisoners and their families to resolve difficulties with the authorities in the quickest and most effective manner possible.

We have expertise in all areas of prison law and can assist where funding is available. Due to the restrictions in legal aid, we mainly act for prisoners needing advice or representation on parole and recall issues, reviews of tariffs for life sentenced prisoners, category A reviews and judicial review.  We can advise on how to challenge matters through correspondence with the prison and by using the complaints and Ombudsman schemes. If these approaches do not resolve the matter, we have unrivalled knowledge and experience of bringing challenges through the courts.

Court proceedings on behalf of prisoners - to protect their rights and to ensure procedural fairness - are usually by way of judicial review. In cases where judicial review is unsuccessful or inappropriate, we will advise on whether any other remedies are available, including bringing cases to the European Court of Human Rights.

Making progress in this area of law can be a slow process, with the courts moving towards fairer procedures very gradually. Our clients demonstrate immense dedication and commitment, often pursuing cases where they may no longer obtain any direct benefit to improve conditions for all prisoners.

We are involved in developing policy from funding issues to new legislation. We have provided consultation responses on a wide range of issues affecting prisoners including the legal aid scheme and the appropriate levels of punishment for those convicted of murder.

 Our Prison Law specialists

Simon Creighton, Hamish Arnott and Jane Ryan work with prisoners on their rights whilst in prison custody and whilst on licence after release. They advise on all aspects of imprisonment and work particularly closely with people serving life sentences.  Simon Creighton and Hamish Arnott co-author the two leading text books on prison law and parole and write regular updates for for Legal Action magazine.

  • inside a cell

“They’re really the best on prison law. They have the largest number of really strong and experienced people.”

Chambers & Partners 2015