Frequently Asked Questions
How does email a prisoner work?
You can send messages to a prisoner via the www.emailaprisoner.com website, it takes only a few minutes to sign up and, the message gets delivered to the prison rapidly. Our sophisticated systems allow you to write an email, press 'send' and sit back, in the knowledge the email will be delivered safely, securely and instantly to, the prison of your choice and included in the next mail delivery inside the prison. From all corners of the World you can now stay in contact with prisoners, all for 35 pence per message. Certain establishments (see list here) give you the option to receive a reply from your recipient for which there is an extra charge of 25 pence There are counters below the message to help you keep count but they won't be enforced until you submit the message. In participating establishments you have the option to allow a reply from your recipient. There is an extra cost of 25 pence for this service.
Why do you charge for messages?
There are running costs for this service that can be supplied on request.
Do the prisoners have to pay for the emails?
The email a prisoner service is completely free of charge to the prisoners and the prisons.
How do I Sign Up?
Go to www.emailaprisoner.com, click on 'Sign Up' then enter your name, your email address and your chosen password. Enter the code from the image shown, continue to read the "Terms and Conditions" and confirm that you agree with them – click on Sign Up. Once your account has been created and you are logged into your account you must complete three tasks:
- Click on "My Profile" and add your address and "Save".
- Click on "Add Recipient" and add your recipient's details.
- Click on "Buy Credit" and follow instructions (please consult the following FAQ if you are having problems adding credit).
How do I add credit to my account?
Once you are logged in, click on the "Buy Credit" link on the left hand side under "My Account"
Choose the option to pay by 'Credit/Debit card' and the amount you wish to credit (min amount £5.00 if using a credit/debit card)*. Click on 'Buy Credit' box. You will then be taken to a page where you can check your details and choose a card type. Once you click on 'Make Payment' you will be taken to a secure page to enter your card details and confirm or cancel the transaction. *You may credit a lesser amount if you are paying by Cheque or Postal Order.
Click on 'Overseas payment' and the amount you wish to credit your account, record the reference number and the bank paying in details which is shown and then, go to your bank and make the payment into our account using the details provided and also, quoting the reference number.
If you are not able to add credit to your account using a debit or credit card or you wish to add less that £5, then you can do so by sending a cheque or postal order in the post. We are also able to accept cash however we strongly advise only sending cash if you cannot use any other method and ONLY by recorded delivery.
To pay by any of these methods simply go to "My Account" and click "Buy Credit". Enter the amount of credit you would like to add to your account in the box. You will then be given a reference number that you must include when you send, it can just be on a scrap of paper but it must be included, you must also include your name and address. Please make all cheques and Postal Orders payable to Unilink Technology Services and send to:
Unilink Technology Services
Po Box 1288
Email a Prisoner will not charge you any processing fee so if you add £10 to your account then you will get the full £10. And paying by one of these methods there is no minimum amount that you can add to your account.
How do I change my email address?
If you need to change your email address please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the email address currently registered with the system and the email address you would like to change it to. This email must come from the old email address or we will not be able to make the change.
How do I change my password?
To change your password first log into your account and then select the "Change Password" option from the menu on the left-hand side. On this page you will be able to enter your new password.
My recipient has been transferred, how do I change the location of where my emails are being delivered?
In order to change the prison location of your recipient – Go to your "Address Book" and "View Recipients" click on the 'Edit' sign, change the location then save your changes.
How do I change my recipient's prison number?
In order to change the prison number of your recipient – Go to your "Address Book" and "View Recipients" click on 'Edit', change the prisoner number and then save your changes.
I am having problems logging in, what should I do?
If you are having problems logging on to your account, it may be because you computer has picked up cookies which may cause our website not to work properly, on your computer. This is due to our website being secure.
Try logging out of your Internet browser and then log straight into your email a prisoner account once you have re-opened your browser. If that does not work try giving your computer a quick scan for viruses/cookies and then try logging back in to our site again. If you are still having problems, contact our support helpdesk, to assist you further.
The email I have sent to my recipient was late/was not delivered, why is this?
The email a prisoner system operates in such a way that once you press "Send", the message(s) are delivered directly to the prison of choice within minutes. They do not come to us and we forward them on – they go directly to the prison. Thereafter, we are still at the prisons'/officers mercy (as with all correspondence) how quickly the messages are given to the prisoners. Also, some establishments do not deliver emails at the weekend or Bank Holidays. If you are aware that the emails have not been delivered or are delivered later than 48 hours please contact the support helpdesk.
I wish to contact a prisoner but do not know where they are and what their prison number is, can you assist?
Due to Data Protection we do not hold any information about prisoners. You can try locating someone in prison or obtaining a prisoners number by going to the Prison Service Website, looking under "Location Services".
Can I cancel an email once it has been sent?
We are afraid that we cannot cancel an email if you have already sent it because once you press "Send", the message(s) are delivered directly to the prison of choice, within minutes. They do not come to us and we forward them on – they go directly to the prison.
Can I book a visit?
You cannot book visits via emailaprisoner service, you must call the prison you wish to visit, directly.
Can the prisoner see my address and email address?
All ingoing prisoner correspondence, emails and letters alike, must have the sender's address clearly visible, therefore we automatically add those details to your message when it is sent. However, your email address will not be publicised on any of the emails, which you send.
Can I send attachments?
Customers of email a prisoner service are unable to send attachments via the service. (Photo attachments are available in specific establishments)
Can I send photos?
We are currently running a trial of an attachment service in certain prisons only. You are able to upload a maximum of 4 photos per message, photo cost 30p per image. Images will be printed along with your message and may be monochrome only depending on the equipment available at the establishment. Images containing inappropriate material will be rejected and you will not be refunded. We reserve the right to change the pricing of attachments at any time.
How can I cancel my account?
If you wish to cancel your account at any time, please email the support help desk, requesting for your account to be cancelled.
Can I get a refund?
We are unable to offer any refund of purchased credit, so to avoid disappointment we urge you NOT to add more credit to your account than you will use. However, this does not affect your statutory rights.
How Does the Reply Service Work?
Log into your emailaprisoner account, click ‘write new message’ and if you would like a response from your recipient you will need to tick the ‘reply’ box just above the text box.
This generates a bar coded blank sheet, which is given to your recipient with your message after the censoring process.
Your recipient physically writes on the reply sheet and returns this to the officer in charge.
The message will be censored, scanned and placed into your emailaprisoner ‘inbox’. We would notify you via email that you have received a response.
There is not a time limitation on when your recipient uses the reply sheet. However, should your recipient be relocated to an establishment that does not facilitate the reply service, they would be unable to use the reply sheet.
Please check our 'locations' page to see if the establishment you are writing to facilitates the reply service. This will appear in brackets and in red next to the establishments name.