DoingTime, is a guide to prison and probation for first-time offenders.

Prisons all work on strict timetables. The majority of prisons lock the cell door at around 6pm at night and it remains shut until 8am. Once the door is locked it is almost impossible to speak with an officer unless it is an emergency, and your cell will have a call button. You can call an officer and ask to speak with a LISTENER , who has been trained by the Samaritans, if you feel you have the need.

If you arrive at the wing before the evening meal is served at around 5pm you will be unlocked and told to join a queue at the servery for the meal. Most prisons offer a limited choice of food but as you are new you will be given whatever they have the most left. Depending on which prison you are in and what day of the week it is you may be given a breakfast pack and a tea/coffee pack. When you have been given the food you will be returned to your cell, the door relocked and you will eat in the cell.

See the full summary and other guides here.