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The Young Offender Institution Rules 1988

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7.  There shall be established at every young offender institution systems of privileges approved by the Secretary of State and appropriate to the classes of inmates thereof and their ages, characters and circumstances, which shall include arrangements under which money earned by inmates may be spent by them within the young offender institution.

Information to inmates

8.—(1) Every inmate shall be provided, as soon as possible after his reception into the young offender institution, and in any case within 24 hours, with information in writing about those provisions of these Rules and other matters which it is necessary that he should know, including earnings and privileges, and the proper method of making requests and complaints and of petitioning the Secretary of State.

(2) In the case of an inmate aged less than 18, or an inmate aged 18 or over who cannot read or appears to have difficulty in understanding the information so provided, the governor, or an officer deputed by him, shall so explain it to him that he can understand his rights and obligations.

(3) A copy of these Rules shall be made available to any inmate who requests it.


9.—(1) Every request by an inmate to see the governor, a visiting officer of the Secretary of State or a member of the board of visitors shall be recorded by the officer to whom it is made and promptly passed on to the governor.

(2) On every day, other than a Sunday or public holiday, the governor shall hear the applications of inmates who have asked to see him.

(3) Where an inmate has asked to see any other such person as aforesaid, the governor shall ensure that that person is told of the request on his next visit to the young offender institution.

Letters and visits generally

10.—(1) The Secretary of State may, with a view to securing discipline and good order or the prevention of crime or in the interests of any persons, impose restrictions, either generally or in a particular case, upon the communications to be permitted between an inmate and other persons.

(2) Except as provided by statute or these Rules, an inmate shall not be permitted to communicate with any outside person, or that person with him, without the leave of the Secretary of State.

(3) Except as provided by these Rules, every letter or communication to or from an inmate may be read or examined by the governor or an officer deputed by him, and the governor may, at his discretion, stop any communication on the ground that its contents are objectionable or that it is of inordinate length.

(4) Subject to the provisions of these Rules, the governor may give such directions as he thinks fit for the supervision of visits to inmates, either generally or in a particular case.

Personal letters and visits

11.—(1) An inmate shall be entitled–

(a)to send and to receive a letter on his reception into a young offender institution and thereafter once a week; and

(b)to receive a visit once in four weeks.

(2) The governor may allow an inmate an additional letter or visit when necessary for his welfare or that of his family.

(3) The governor may allow an inmate entitled to a visit to send and to receive a letter instead.

(4) The governor may defer the right of an inmate to a visit until the expiration of any period of confinement to a cell or room.

(5) The board of visitors may allow an inmate an additional letter or visit in special circumstances, and may direct that a visit may extend beyond the normal duration.

(6) The Secretary of State may allow additional letters and visits in relation to any inmate or class of inmates.

(7) An inmate shall not be entitled under this rule to receive a visit from any person other than a relative or friend, except with the leave of the Secretary of State.

(8) Any letter or visit under the succeeding provisions of these Rules shall not be counted as a letter or visit for the purposes of this rule.

Police interviews

12.  A police officer may, on production of an order issued by or on behalf of a chief officer of police, interview any inmate willing to see him.

Legal advisers

13.—(1) The legal adviser of an inmate in any legal proceedings, civil or criminal, to which the inmate is a party shall be afforded reasonable facilities for interviewing him in connection with those proceedings, and may do so out of hearing of an officer.

(2) An inmate’s legal adviser may, with the leave of the Secretary of State, interview the inmate in connection with any other legal business.

Further facilities in connection with legal proceedings

14.—(1) An inmate who is a party to any legal proceedings may correspond with his legal adviser in connection with the proceedings and unless the governor has reason to suppose that any such correspondence contains matter not relating to the proceedings it shall not be read or stopped under rule 10(3) of these Rules.

(2) An inmate shall on request be provided with any writing materials necessary for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this rule.

(3) Subject to any directions given in the particular case by the Secretary of State, a registered medical practitioner selected by or on behalf of an inmate who is a party to any legal proceedings shall be afforded reasonable facilities for examining him in connection with the proceedings, and may do so out of hearing but in the sight of an officer.

(4) Subject to any directions of the Secretary of State, an inmate may correspond with a solicitor for the purpose of obtaining legal advice concerning any cause of action in relation to which the inmate may become a party to legal proceedings or for the purpose of instructing the solicitor to issue such proceedings.

Securing release of defaulters

15.  An inmate detained in a young offender institution in default of payment of a fine or any other sum of money may communicate with, and be visited at any reasonable time on a weekday by, any relative or friend to arrange for payment in order to secure his release.


16.—(1) An inmate shall be provided with clothing adequate for warmth and health in accordance with a scale approved by the Secretary of State.

(2) The clothing provided under this rule shall include suitable protective clothing for use at work, where this is needed.

(3) Subject to the provisions of rule 42(3) of these Rules, an inmate shall wear clothing provided under this rule and no other, except on the directions of the Secretary of State.

(4) An inmate shall where necessary be provided with suitable and adequate clothing on his release.


17.—(1) Subject to any directions of the Secretary of State, no inmate shall be allowed, except as authorised by the medical officer, to have any food other than that ordinarily provided.

(2) The food provided shall be wholesome, nutritious, well prepared and served, reasonably varied and sufficient in quantity.

(3) The medical officer shall regularly inspect the food both before and after it is cooked, and shall report any deficiency or defect to the governor.

(4) In this rule, “food” includes drink.

Alcohol and tobacco

18.—(1) No inmate shall be allowed to have any intoxicating liquor except under a written order of the medical officer specifying the quantity and the name of the inmate.

(2) No inmate aged less than 17 shall be allowed to smoke or to have any tobacco and an inmate aged 17 or over shall only be allowed to smoke or to have any tobacco as a privilege under rule 7 of these Rules and in accordance with any orders of the governor.

Sleeping accommodation

19.—(1) No room or cell shall be used as sleeping accommodation for an inmate unless it has been certified by an officer of the Secretary of State (not being an officer of a young offender institution) that its size, lighting, heating, ventilation and fittings are adequate for health, and that it allows the inmate to communicate at any time with an officer.

(2) A certificate given under this rule shall specify the maximum number of inmates who may sleep in the room or cell at one time, and the number so specified shall not be exceeded without the leave of the Secretary of State.

Beds and bedding

20.  Each inmate shall be provided with a separate bed and with separate bedding adequate for warmth and health.


21.—(1) Every inmate shall be provided with toilet articles necessary for his health and cleanliness, which shall be replaced as necessary.

(2) Every inmate shall be required to wash at proper times, have a hot bath or shower on reception and thereafter at least once a week.

(3) Subject to any directions of the Secretary of State, a male inmate may be required by the governor to shave or be shaved and to have his hair cut as may be necessary for neatness or, as directed by the medical officer, for health or cleanliness.

(4) A female inmate’s hair shall not be cut without her consent except where the medical officer directs that it is necessary for health or cleanliness.

Female inmates

22.  The Secretary of State may, subject to any conditions he thinks fit, permit a female inmate to have her baby with her in a young offender institution, and everything necessary for the baby’s maintenance and care may be provided there.

Library books

23.  A library shall be provided in every young offender institution and, subject to any directions of the Secretary of State, every inmate shall be allowed to have library books and to exchange them.

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