Prisoners' Advice Service
In many cases, positive change for prisoners can only be achieved by the application of the law - without a legal representative, prisoners find their legal rights easily waived in reality. PAS was founded in May 1991, and is still the only organisation to provide free legal advice and advocacy for adult prisoners in England and Wales. It is defined by the idea that everyone deserves human rights, access to justice and the opportunity to educate themselves.
PAS fills the massive gap that exists in access to justice for prisoners, providing a free and independent advice and advocacy service from qualified solicitors that is not replicated by the state, local authorities, any other third sector organisation or by private business, and which is beyond the means of high street solicitors. First and foremostly it uses its expert knowledge to answer prisoners’ legal queries. Thousands of them. These queries come from the telephone advice line, by post, or at outreach clinics.
Sometimes legal advice or information is enough. Sometimes it isn’t, and a legal letter needs to be written, or a phone call made (perhaps to the prison governor) on behalf of the prisoner and his/her rights. Sometimes this turns into many letters and phone calls. Sometimes this turns into a full-blown legal case.