People in prison can access our services in a range of ways, as we work to reduce suicide and self-harm in prisons.
Here's how prisoners and prison staff can access Samaritans services
Samaritans volunteers select and train prisoners to offer confidential peer support to anyone who might be struggling to cope or who is feeling worried or frightened.
All prisons are required to offer prisoners access to Samaritans’ helpline free of charge.
If prisoners prefer, they can write to us instead. We offer a freepost service, so there is no need to buy a stamp and freepost envelopes are usually available in communal areas of the prison.
Samaritans, PO Box 90 90, Stirling FK8 2SA
Face to face support
If there is not a prison listener scheme available, volunteers from the local Samaritans branch may visit the prison to offer face to face support. Offenders may also have access to Samaritans branches whilst on temporary licence.
Support for prison staff
Prison staff are also welcome to contact Samaritans. Our services are particularly important following a suicide in custody. At these sad times, we play a key role in supporting both staff and prisoners.
Samaritans works with Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, Scottish Prison Service, Irish Prison Service and Northern Ireland Prison Service to deliver the Listener scheme across the UK and Ireland. Here's how.
Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
The Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) manages public sector prisons and the contract for private prisons in England and Wales, and oversees probation delivery in England and Wales including through community rehabilitation companies.
Scottish Prison Service (SPS)
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is part of the Scottish Government and was set up in 1993. Its purpose is to provide secure custody and reduce reoffending in the community. SPS has 13 publicly managed prisons and two privately managed prisons.
Irish Prison Service (IPS)
The Irish Prison Service (IPS) is part of the Department of Justice and Equality. It provides for male offenders over 17, and female offenders, over 18 years old. Their mission is to provide safe and secure custody and to rehabilitate prisoners to provide safer communities.
Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS)
The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) is part of the Department of Justice. It oversees the operation and delivery of services within the Northern Ireland prison system. Its aim is to improve public safety by rehabilitating prisoners and reducing reoffending.