HMPPS has been receiving complaints and questions about the new message that is now played when prisoners make phone calls. Because of this, some improvements are being made to the system.

Prisoners will hear a new message when they make a call. Instead of “your call is connecting” it will say:

When the person you are calling answers, they will be told that this call may be monitored. You will not be charged while the message plays. Please be patient and allow more time to be connected.”

When the message has finished both you and the person calling you will hear a beep noise to confirm the message has ended. This change will happen within the next few weeks.

Prisoners have also reported that calls are sometimes connecting to voicemail without them realising. HMPPS has asked BT to find an answer to this problem, but this will take some time.

So for now, prisoners are being asked to either leave a voicemail message or put the phone down straight away if they don’t hear anyone speak after the new message finishes playing.

Prisoners have been given a letter to explain this change to their family and friends, so if you have not seen it yet, you can ask your loved one or the prison for a copy. Translated copies of this letter in commonly spoken languages are also available if you need one.

Further information explaining the pre-call message and why it had to be introduced is in this article.

Page last reviewed: 18 May 2022