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The Prison Rules 1999

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34.—(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 letters or other communications to be permitted between a prisoner and other persons.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the Secretary of State may require that any visit, or class of visits, shall be held in facilities which include special features restricting or preventing physical contact between a prisoner and a visitor.

(3) Without prejudice to sections 6 and 9 of the Prison Act 1952(1), and except as provided by these Rules, a prisoner shall not be permitted to communicate with any outside person, or that person with him, without the leave of the Secretary of State or as a privilege under rule 8.

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

(5) Every visit to a prisoner shall take place within the sight of an officer, unless the Secretary of State otherwise directs.

(6) Except as provided by these Rules, every visit to a prisoner shall take place within the hearing of an officer, unless the Secretary of State otherwise directs.

(7) The Secretary of State may give directions, generally or in relation to any visit or class of visits, concerning the day and times when prisoners may be visited.

(8) In this rule:

  • “communications” includes communications during or by means of visits or by means of a telecommunications system or telecommunications apparatus, and “telecommunications apparatus” has the meaning assigned by paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the Telecommunications Act 1984(2).

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