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Entitlement to Release

Clothing Grant

In your days in prison you might have grown to a different shape but your clothing was what you were wearing when you came in.  It is likely not to have been washed and will be screwed up inside a polythene bag, so it could be in quite a state.  It might also have been the middle of summer when you came in, but the middle of winter when you go out.  Whatever the cause you are entitled to apply for a clothing grant.   Ask the Wing Officer for a form and do this at least a month before release.  I know that at one Prison Prison Officers claimed never to have heard of Clothing Grants but they were just being awkward. 

Discharge Grant

You are entitled to a discharge grant of one week's basic benefit for under 6 months in prison and 2 weeks for over 6 months.  This is hardly enough to pay for much on the outside if you have to start finding a place to live.  So your first call should be to the Job Centre and the Benefits Agency to make your claim.  If you are lucky to have a job to go back to and a place to live then this is extra money in your pocket to make you feel good.  However, for those who really need the money the gap between the 100 (approx for 2 weeks) grant running out and receiving Benefits can be a trying time.  Unfortunately some find it so trying that they return to crime to make ends meet.  No-one can get through the buerocracy and get you money sooner.  You can, however, get an emergency grant from the DSS but these can also be difficult and costly in terms of time and travelling to secure.

Travel Home

If you are not being picked up you will be given a Rail Warrant which you can exchange for a 2nd Class Rail Ticket to your nearest station.  You cannot exchange this for cash nor can you have cash instead of the warrant.  If you are being picked up you get no extras.

Private Money

You will have some private money to come back to you.  This will be the money in your Private Account from money sent into the prison.  Add to this your Earnings Account which is money from working in (and outside) the prison.  Some work in open prisons pays almost normal wages and some prisoners are released with large sums of money.  Add to this any money left in your Spends Account but subtract any monies in your Advance Account.  This should be 2 at the most and if you have served several months there should be no debt in the Advance Account.

Personal Belongings

You are entitled to take with you all your personal belongings and anything you have purchased or had sent into Reception whilst in prison.