PAS caseworkers run two types of Outreach Clinics in prisons across England and Wales – one-to-one legal advice outreach clinics and legal education sessions for groups.
The aim of these sessions is to provide information to prisoners and to empower them to be able to deal with some issues themselves.
In 2022, after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, which ended in April 2022, we delivered 29 legal advice Outreach Clinics providing one-to-one advice or education to 249 prisoners across nine prisons:
HMPs Belmarsh, Brixton, Downview, Erlestoke, Huntercombe, Leyhill, New Hall, Pentonville, Thameside.
Legal Advice Clinics: one-to-one advice
We give general advice on a one-to-one basis at legal advice outreach sessions, which are often held in prison libraries. Any prisoner can sign up to attend these sessions.
The clinics provide expert advice on a vast range of issues, from missing items of property to complex issues relating to recall procedures and sentence calculation.
Legal Education: group education
Our caseworkers run legal education sessions with small groups of prisoners, explaining the legal framework for prison law and discussing how it applies to them and other prisoners and their queries and complaints about prison life.
These sessions are usually – although not always – organised via a partner agency, such as the St Giles Trust, which delivers an NVQ course in Information, Advice and Guidance to prisoners who are employed as peer advisers and other advice related roles within the establishment.
“I have found [PAS] to be a shining example of what a legal service should be. The need for PAS is bound to increase with the current attack on funding, and the many changes to the lives of prisoners already in the pipeline.”