Prison rules

Prison Rules

The Prison Rules 1999 is an important piece of legislation which governs how prisons are run.

This includes regulations on areas such as physical welfare, communications and offences against discipline.

Prison Rules apply to every prison but the governor may have local rules as well.

Prison rules also allow the creation of Prison Service Orders (PSOs) and Prison Service Instructions (PSIs) as described below.

You can find a link to Prison rules here:

Prison Service Orders (PSOs) and Prison Service Instructions (PSIs)

Prison Service Orders (PSOs) are long term mandatory instructions which were issued until 31 July 2009. They have no expiry date, and remain in force until cancelled or replaced.

Useful PSOs include
•    1700 segregation
•    3601 mandatory drug testing
•    4460 prisoners pay
•    4450 marriage of prisoners
•    4455 requests from prisoners to change their name

You can find a link to PSOs still in force here:

Prison Service Instructions (PSIs) contain a number of rules, regulations and guidelines by which prisons are run. PSIs have as definite expiry date. They also introduce amendments to PSOs.

For example, some useful PSIs are
•    13/2015 release on temporary licence
•    30/2013 incentives and earned privileges
•    40/2011 categorisation and recategorisation of adult male prisoners
•    47/2011 prisoner discipline procedures
•    49/2011 prisoner communication services
•    22/2015 generic parole process for indeterminate and determinate sentenced prisoners

You can find a link to PSIs here:

It can sometimes be difficult to know which PSIs or PSOs you need. The following subject index from the government website can help you work this out.


If you need any more information on any of the above areas please contact us.