Country By Country

See the index below for information including where to find out more about prisons and legal systems around the world. Try option 1 first.

1) For information on what help is available from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office when a British citizen is arrested overseas (which includes a ‘Prisoner Information Pack’ for most countries), visit the FCO website and choose your country from the drop-down menu.

If you are unable to find a particular Prison Information Pack or have any problems accessing this information, please contact us

2) For information about European criminal justice systems, visit the Fair Trials website.

3) For country human rights reports, including some prison information, visit the USA Department of State website.

Albania

Argentina

  • The UK in Argentina website (part of the British Foreign Office) has a list of local lawyers.

Australia

Corrective Services websites for all Australian territories:

Other external links:

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Canada

Prisoners Abroad has produced a factsheet with information on the rules concerning deportation from Canada.

China (including Hong Kong)

Czech Republic

  • The Prison Service of the Czech Republic has an English-language website with basic information about the service, plus some information about each of the prisons in the country.

Denmark

Dubai

For Dubai, please see the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Ecuador

Prisoners Abroad has produced a factsheet with information on prisons in Ecuador.

Estonia

Finland

France

  • To find an address for a prison in France you can use the website of the French Ministry of Justice. Although the site is in French, you can click on the map to find prison details for every establishment in the country.
  • Fair Trials has produced information on being Arrested in France.

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Italy

Jamaica

Lithuania

Netherlands

  • It is possible to find addresses for all Dutch prisons on the website of the Dutch Prison Service. Although the site is in Dutch, if you click on the prison name you will be taken to a page giving address details. Two sorts of address are usually given: Bezoekadres is the actual address for visiting, whilst Postadres is the postal address you should use for all mail.
  • Fair Trials has published information about being Arrested in The Netherlands.

New Zealand

Poland

Portugal

  • The website of the Portuguese Prison Service has some information about each establishment in the country, including postal address and a map of its location. The site is entirely in Portuguese. However, it is possible to find the prison information by first clicking on the ‘Estabelecimentos Prisionais’ link on the left-hand side, then the appropriate area of the country, and finally the individual prison.
  • Fair Trials has produced information about being Arrested in Portugal.

Singapore

  • The website of the Singapore Prison Service has lots of information, including details about the Changi Prison redevelopment and the programmes they run in their prisons.

South Africa

The website of the South African Department of Correctional Services has lots of information. In particular, you can view the South African ‘Correctional Services Act’ under the legislation section of the site.

Spain

Prisoners Abroad has the following factsheet explaining the basics of the Spanish system for early release:

Useful external links:

  • The website of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior has a map and the addresses of all prisons (centros penitenciarios) in Spain (except Catalonia). Although the website is in Spanish, as long as you know the area of the prison you are trying to locate it is possible to find the address. ‘Nombre’ = name of prison / ‘Tipo’ = type of facility.
  • The website of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior has also produced two guides to the Spanish prison system which have been translated into English: Prison Step by Step and The Spanish Prison System
  • For prison addresses in Catalonia, please use this website. Although it is in Catalan, if you know the name of the prison it is possible to find the address.
  • Fair Trials has produced information about being Arrested in Spain.

Sweden

Thailand

Prisoners Abroad has a factsheet on the legal system of the country, as well as information on amnesties and pardons. We have also compiled a guide for visitors to Bangkwang Central Prison.

Trinidad and Tobago

We have a factsheet on the legal system of the country:

Useful external links:

United Arab Emirates

  • Fair Trials has compiled a list of pharmaceutical substances which are prohibited in the UAE. This information is especially useful for people planning a visit to the country, or even to people who will be stopping off during an international flight.
  • Abu Dhabi has a legal website with information on criminal proceedings.
  • Dubai Police have some information about visiting inmates detained at Dubai police station.

USA

Prisoners Abroad has two factsheets on the USA. One describes the criminal justice system which operates in the federal system. The other is intended for family and friends of people detained there, and describes the differences between the state and the federal system as well as offering general advice regarding visits, letters, telephone calls and sending money.

Useful external links:

  • For details about federal prisons or federal detainees, you can use the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. For information about individual state prisons, you should search for the relevant state’s Department of Corrections. For more information about the difference between the federal and state systems, please read the Prisoners Abroad factsheet (above).
  • The website of the US Department of Justice, gives useful and detailed information about transfer from the USA – it mainly applies to the federal system, but the information is also useful for detainees in the state system. For more information about transferring out of the state system please see this page on the website of the Department of Justice.
  • On the website of the American Civil Liberties Union there are a number of “Know Your Rights” factsheets for prisoners, covering subjects such as medical issues and the legal rights of disabled prisoners.
  • Fair Trials has produced information on being Arrested in the USA.

Venezuela

  • The NGO Venezuelan Prison Observatory has a map showing some prison authorities in the country. Select Sistema Penitenciario, and then the appropriate region from the list, to see the authority and number of people in prison.