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Prison Complaints Procedure

prison complaints procedureIf a prisoner is unhappy about conditions or a particular situation at the prison where they are serving their sentence, they are entitled to make an internal complaint.

It is vital that they follow the correct prison complaints procedure, as this will increase their chances of a successful outcome.

There are three steps to making an internal complaint at a prison:

Stage 1 – Complaint to wing officer

  • • Complaint forms (COMP1) should be freely available to all prisoners in each wing or residential area.
  • • The prisoner must complete the complaint form and deposit it in the purpose-built locked boxes situated in their area.
  • • A wing officer will normally respond within three working days, by completing the relevant section on the prisoner’s complaint form.

Stage 2 – Complaint to management

  • • If the prisoner is dissatisfied with the wing officer’s response, they can complete a new form (COMP1A) to be submitted to someone at management level.
  • • This must be done within a week of the wing officer’s response and the prisoner must state why they were unhappy with it.
  • • A management-level official will normally respond within seven working days.
  • • If the response takes longer than this, the prisoner should receive a reply explaining the reason for the delay.

Stage 3 – Complaint to the Prison Governor

  • • If the manager’s response is also unsatisfactory, the prisoner can appeal to the Governor.
  • • The same form should be used (COMP1A) and posted into the complaints box when complete.
  • • The Governor or deputy Governor should respond within seven working days, or else provide an explanation for a delay.

If you do not receive timely responses, the prison is not following the correct prison complaints procedure, meaning you are entitled to escalate your complaint to the next level.

Prison and Probation Ombudsman

  • • If the Governor’s response is unsatisfactory, a complaint can be sent to the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, who will investigate it thoroughly, making sure the prison complaints procedure has been followed.
  • • The complaint should be private and sent at public expense.
  • • Address: 2 Monck Street, London, SW1P 2BQ.

Areas of Legal Expertise

Prison Team

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