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. Our sophisticated systems allow you to write an email, press 'send' and sit back, in the knowledge the email will be delivered each day, safely and securely 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 40 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.
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 'Sign Up' and follow the prompts. You will receive an activation link via email, you need to active your account before you are able to send a message.
How do I add credit to my account?
Once you are logged in, click on the 'Buy Credit' under 'Menu'
Enter the amount you wish to credit (min amount £5.00 if using a credit/debit card)*. Select the option 'credit/debit card' check your address details and click 'Add credit to account'. 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 'Buy Credit' enter the amount you wish of credit, select 'postal order/cheque/cash' and click 'Add credit to account'. You will then be provided with a reference number. You must include this number, your name and address when you send your payment. 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. 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 top left-hand side. On this page you will be able to enter your new password.
How do I edit/check my recipient's information?
Click 'My recipients' select 'edit' change the location and/or prison number and 'save changes'.
We do not hold any information regarding recipients whereabouts. If your recipient has been transferred to a new location, you will need to change the details on your account. Please see above for instructions.
How do I add my recipient?
Click 'Write new message' select 'New recipient' enter their details in the columns provided. Compose your message and press 'send'.
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 2 working days 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 will notify you via email to inform you that you have received a response from your loved one.
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.