Independent Adjudications

Prisoners who are facing an independent adjudication are entitled to legal advice for free through Legal Aid. Youngs Law have one of the UK’s largest prison law teams who can offer you best in class legal advice ahead of your independent adjudication.

If you’ve been deemed to have broken rules in prison and are facing an independent adjudication and would like legal advice or representation, Youngs Law can help. If you qualify, you will be entitled to feee legal advice through Legal Aid, which we can offer you.

We have a team of experienced prison law solicitors who deal with these adjudications on a regular basis and often hope prisoners to get the outcome they are striving towards. If you’d like to speak with us about your position, our prison law solicitors would be more than happy to answer your queries and assist you with your matter should you choose.

To get in touch with a member of the team fill out a contact form on the right, Whatsapp us or call the prison law team 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 an independent adjudication?

It is fairly common that prisoners are subject to adjudications – often referred to as ‘nickings.’

This happens when a prisoner breaks the rules or laws within prison, for example fighting, disobeying orders or holding unauthorised items.

Normally, an adjudication process will begin within the prison itself. The Governor will hear the charge and decide whether or not they can deal with it. If they feel that they can, the hearing will commence, much like a trial, with a plea being entered by the prisoner and evidence being heard. Unfortunately, there are no provisions for legal representatives to attend these hearings, unless there are physical or mental health concerns for the Prisoner.  Governor adjudications are not covered under the Legal Aid Scheme.

If this matter cannot be dealt with by a prison manager, then a case can be escalated and an independent adjudication process will begin.

In the case of an independent adjudication, the adjudicator will have as little knowledge of the charge the prisoner is facing and their background – hence the term ‘independent’. These hearings will normally be heard by a District Judge at the prison, according to the Prison Service Instructions (PSIs).

Legal support is highly recommended for independent adjudications, however, legal representation is not allowed for an adjudication being dealt with by management in the prison, but our lawyers can offer you advice ahead of the hearing.

Those who are subject to an independent adjudication are entitled to Legal Aid Funding for a solicitor represent them at the adjudication.

If a prisoner is suspected of being guilty in this scenario, a charge must be brought within 48 hours, which can make these adjudications fast paced with little time to plan. These adjudications are usually for disciplinary matters such as possession of unauthorised items in jail or drug use.

Given the fast paced nature of these and limited legal aid funding, representation here is subject to availability of a fee earner and also within distance. This means that we can only represent at Independent Adjudications from Havant in HMP Ford, HMP Winchester, and HMP Lewes. Likewise, in our Liverpool office, we can only represent Liverpool, Altcourse, Preston, Lancaster Farms, Garth, Wymott, Risley, Manchester and Forest Bank.

How Youngs can help

You should get in contact with a prison law solicitor about your independent adjudication as soon as you’ve been accused on a disciplinary offence. Our team of prison law solicitors can advise before a charge is brought and have a wealth of experience in representing clients in prison at their independent adjudication.

Even if a prisoner feels they can speak for themselves at an independent adjudication, we highly recommend that you seek legal guidance to help support you with your claim. We can guide you through the disciplinary to make sure that you get the best outcome.

The first stage of a disciplinary charge involves a prisoner being put on report – and charges must be brought in accordance with the prison rules.

This is a crucial stage of a disciplinary matter – and taking legal advice as soon as possible can protect a prisoner’s rights.

With disciplinary charges, a charge must also be proved “beyond reasonable doubt”.

We have a wealth of experience in helping to created a robust criminal defence for anyone who is facing an independent adjudication over a disciplinary matter. We

If you are found guilty during the independent adjudication, it can effect your existing sentence and so making sure you get the best advice to support you is crucial. It is normal for a prisoner found guilty of a disciplinary offence at independent adjudication to have further days or weeks added to their original sentence.

We have a successful record in dealing with independent adjudications and we also offer help for appealing or applying for a judicial review.

When to get in contact with a Solicitor?

You will be asked if you wish to have a solicitor to represent when facing an adjudication hearing.

As soon as you know that an adjudication is an independent one call Youngs’ prison law solicitors on 033 33 582 580.


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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

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