Category A Review

If you or a loved one is facing a Category A review, you want one of the UK’s best prison law teams on their side. Our prison law experts are at the forefront of developments with prison law and regularly help prisoners to get a positive outcome with their Category A Review.

Category A or ‘Cat A’ is the category for male prisons in which someone has been sentenced and their risk of escape is deemed of high risk to the public. The review therefore, is to determine whether their risk to society has changed and whether their classification can be changed.

If you or someone you know is facing a category review and is needs representation, please contact us today! Our prison law solicitors deal with hundreds of category reviews every single year and are more than happy to answer your queries and assist you with your matter should you choose to instruct us.

To get in touch with a member of our prison law team for support fill out a contact form on the right, Whatsapp us or call us on 033 33 582 580.

This data will only be used by Youngs Law for processing your query and for no other purpose.

What is a Category A Prison Review?

Categorisation is a significant stage in the progression of those in prison, and more so for those who are in the high secure estate and are namely Category A. By definition in the PSI, Category A prisoners are those whose escape would be highly dangerous to the public, the police or the security of the State, and for whom the aim must be to make escape impossible. Thus, Category A Prisoners are detained within the highest security prisons in the country, and thus offer a markedly restricted regime.

Category A Reviews are held annually and have recently come into the scope of legal aid. When a Category A Review begins, the relevant parties at the prison will begin collating reports into a dossier. Once this dossier is disclosed, we will have the opportunity to make representations on your behalf and advance your argument as to why you should be downgraded from Category A. This dossier and our representations will then be considered by the Local Advisory Panel (LAP) at the prison, who either will or will not recommend your downgrade.

This all then goes before the Category A Review Team at the Ministry of Justice, Petty France. They will then ultimately decide whether to downgrade you or not.

Other Prison Categories

Below is a breakdown of the male prison categories:

Category A

These are high security prisons. They house male prisoners who, if they were to escape, pose the most threat to the public, the police or national security.

Category B

These prisons are either local or training prisons.

Local prisons house prisoners that are taken directly from court in the local area (sentenced or on remand), and training prisons hold long-term and high-security prisoners.

Category C

These prisons are training and resettlement prisons; most prisoners are located in a category C. They provide prisoners with the opportunity to develop their own skills so they can find work and resettle back into the community on release.

Category D – open prisons

These prisons have minimal security and allow eligible prisoners to spend most of their day away from the prison on licence to carry out work, education or for other resettlement purposes. Open prisons only house prisoners that have been risk-assessed and deemed suitable for open conditions.

How Youngs Can Help

If you or anyone you know needs assistance with their Category A Review, please get in touch as soon as possible and we will be able to provide advice and assistance in relation to this.

If downgrade is refused, Youngs Law will persistently pursue the category A team and apply for an oral hearing on your behalf.

Why Choose Our Prison Lawyers?

  • We have been at the forefront of developments in category A public law.
  • We regularly appear in front of the High Court for category A prisoners arguing for their downgrading due to unfairness by the category A team.
  • We were instructed in the lead case for the development of category A oral hearings heard by the Court of Appeal civil division.
  • We regularly undertake category A oral hearings before the Director and we are a thorn in their sides.

When to contact a lawyer?

When a prisoner is notified that their category A review is due to begin and the prison start compiling the paperwork for their review. It is at this point that you should think about getting legal assistance to help you with the review.

Other Services

Meet the team

For further information and confidential advice from our team of specialist solicitors, please contact a member of our team or call us on

033 33 582 580

Scroll to Top

Get Your Free Guide

Fill out the form

Get Your Free Guide

Fill out the form