Success in landmark cases | Free Legal Aid available
Our prison law experts are at the forefront of developments in this area of law and regularly challenge the Ministry of Justice and other authorities.
As prison law lawyers, we are committed to defending and promoting prisoner’s rights throughout their sentences.
We are at the forefront of challenging the Secretary of State for Justice when prisons make unreasonable decisions. Similarly, we are national leaders in helping prisoners prepare for and present their cases to the Parole Board.
We have offices around the country which means that we can represent our prisoner clients wherever they happen to be based. If you have friends or family in need of prison law advice then please get in touch with us today.
"Swain & Co Solicitors are members of the Association of Prison Lawyers and regularly contribute articles on prison law and prisoner's rights. We have won landmark cases for our clients and for the benefits of all prisoners."
Our team is headed by Sara Pritt. We recently featured in the Legal 500 2020/2021 and mentioned as 'Swain & Co Solicitors excels in the area of prison law and its human rights team is overseen by experienced practitioner Sara Pritt. The practice is at the forefront of prison law matters and regularly represents prisoners. Further expertise also includes undertaking complex judicial review claims, sentencing reviews, and criminal appeals.’
Some of the areas which we deal with are as follows:
- Governor Adjudications
- Independent Adjudications
- Healthcare issues
- Mental health issues
- Resettlement issues
- Sentence calculation
- Sentence progression
- Lifer issues
- Licence issues
- Judicial review
- Personal injury
- Medical negligence
- Home Detention Curfews
FREE LEGAL AID is available for most prisoners. We have specialist legal aid contracts in prison law (Portsmouth/Havant, London & Liverpool). This is subject to a means assessment.
Our prison law teams are experienced in providing expert representation for prisoners, for parole, adjudications, re-categorisation, recall and other areas.
We regularly contribute articles to prison law publications including Converse and Inside Time.
We aim to provide a comprehensive service for prisoners. This extends beyond pure prison law and includes advice and representation in respect of civil claims as well as our other departments: housing, mental health and community care and clinical negligence.
Claims against the prison
We have a prison law department that deals with all aspects of prison law. In addition, we also provide specialist advice to prisoners from all over the country in connection with claims against the prison, the Parole Board and the Probation Service, all of whom owe a duty of care to prisoners and to those who may have recently been released from prison.
At Swain & Co Solicitors, we advise in connection with negligence claims against the prison by prisoners who have been assaulted by other prisoners. We also represent prisoners in bringing a claim for assault by prison officers who have acted beyond their power.
Claims against the prison may, in exceptional circumstances, involve a claim for false imprisonment. In other circumstances, where prison officers have deliberately abused their powers, it may be possible to bring a claim for misfeasance in public office (i.e. where the prison officer intentionally or recklessly acted in such a way so as to maliciously cause harm to the individual prisoner).
We also provide advice and assistance in connection with claims under the Data Protection Act 1998. The prison and all Government bodies must comply with legislation relating to confidential information. Failure to do so means that the prisoner may bring proceedings for compensation subject to the prisoner being able to prove that an injury more than “mere distress” had been caused.
At Swain & Co Solicitors, we provide specialist advice to released prisoners from all areas of the country for false imprisonment arising, for example, from an error in calculating the release date leading to the prisoner spending extra weeks and sometimes months in prison. Such claims must be brought within six years of the date the false imprisonment commenced.
In other circumstances, additional months may have been spent in prison which had been caused by a delay in the Ministry of Justice and/or the Parole Board in dealing with the Parole Board hearing. In such cases, it is possible to bring a claim for unlawful detention under the Human Rights Act. It is essential to contact a solicitor immediately because these claims must be brought within 12 months of the Parole Board’s decision to release the claimant.
Prisoners are also owed a duty of care by the prison to ensure that their living accommodation and place of work is safe. If injury is caused by the fault of the prison, then it may be possible to bring a personal injury claim against the prison involved. These claims must be brought within three years of the date of the accident.