The UK prison system is currently in a state of crisis.

Prisons such as HMP Wandsworth, Swansea and Leeds are dangerously overcrowded, government cuts mean that less is spent on rehabilitation, and unsurprisingly, rates of re-offending are on the rise.

The Prison Phone Story

A few years ago, we spoke to an inmate called Marcus. Like many prisoners, he felt isolated from his family and frustrated because he couldn’t call them easily, due to the prohibitively expensive costs of calling a mobile from the prison phone.

The weekly allowance that inmates receive is meagre. Sometimes, just one call to a mobile can take up close to a third of the allowance, leaving the prisoner with precious little else to spend on essentials such as toiletries, snacks or stamps to write letters home.

His story affected us. Why should prisoners be unable to contact their family? What possible advantage could this offer? As far as we could see, limiting contact with loved ones only served to make the inmate feel more alone, and less likely to want to focus positively on rehabilitation.

Finding the Solution

Marcus, and others like him, inspired us to form Prison Phone. We believe that all inmates should be able to enjoy easy access to their loved ones. We believe that they should be able to talk to their children, to tell their partners that they love and miss them, and to have a chat with their parents when they need some emotional support.

True, they’ve committed a crime, for which they’re serving their time. But in order to make the situation better, we think it’s important to support inmates on their path to rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. This is the only way to bring about positive change.

Passionate Protesters

In addition to supplying cheap tariffs for inmates, enabling them to easily call their family at a fraction of the cost, we’re passionate supporters of prison reform. We’re not just a money-making venture, we care about what we do. You can keep up to date on current topics affecting the prison system by following our blog.

Let us tell you about Marcus,

Marcus began his journey in the UK justice system at Strangeways (HMP Manchester). Unsurprisingly, this was a stressful, complicated time for him, and he missed his family a lot.

He would call his loved ones whenever he could, but sometimes it was difficult to afford it. Marcus was only allowed £15.50 a week, and just one 10 minute call to his partner’s mobile cost nearly £4. He tried writing letters instead, but this wasn’t the same as hearing a friendly, supportive voice.

The Consequences of Limited Phone Access

Unsurprisingly, Marcus began to feel depressed and isolated. Already a smoker, he started to smoke more heavily to cope with the anxiety, and eventually, he resorted to using an illegal mobile phone to talk to his family.

Being found with a mobile phone in prison is a criminal offence and could have added more time to his sentence, but he was so desperate to hear from his loved ones that he was willing to risk it. However, the strain of concealing the phone also added to his feelings of anxiety.

The Simple Solution

We were horrified to hear about Marcus’s plight. Being allowed to talk to loved ones is such a small, basic human right, and yet we currently have a situation where thousands of inmates are being denied even this fundamental level of support.

Prison Phone helps to ensure that other inmates don’t have to endure what Marcus had to go through. Using our tariffs, a call to your partner’s mobile phone would only cost around 35p, which is a lot cheaper than £3.75! This immediately enables prisoners to get the support and love that they need from home, which helps improve chances of rehabilitation.

To find out more, simply view our range of price plans.


The prison phone service has been specifically developed to help people affected by the criminal justice system. The benefits of our system stretch far and wide beyond the friends and family but to society as a whole.


It is well documented that the people in custody who maintain family ties are 6 times less likely to reoffend upon release. Prison Phone are leading the way in ensuring that family contact is affordable and accessible for all. We Pride ourselves on our network reliability and last year we had less downtime than most other telecoms providers.
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