Family members, as well as anyone seeking financial advantage, may be tempted to try to get articles into jails. Because the risk of being identified is considerable, many people who might otherwise be motivated to do so resist.

Throwing things into prisons is illegal under Section 40CB of the Prison Act 1952, therefore hurling something over the fence is just as bad as taking it inside when visiting. It might also be viewed as a much more difficult crime to discover.

The term ‘throwing’, on the other hand, is particularly confusing because it is defined in the legislation to mean:

‘doing anything outside the jail that causes an article or substance to be projected or transported over or through a prison boundary and settle inside the prison.’

As a result, this includes not just throwing an object over a fence or through a gap, but also attaching an object to a drone and flying it in.

There are two options for defending yourself:

(a) he reasonably believed that he had authorisation to do the act in respect of which the proceedings are brought, or

(b) in all the circumstances there was an overriding public interest which justified the doing of that act.

Authorisation means authorisation given in relation to all prisons or prisons of a specified description by Prison Rules or administratively the Secretary of State or, in relation to a particular prison, by the Secretary of State or the governor, director of the prison or by a person authorised by the governor or director for this purpose.

Contractors performing construction work where it may be necessary to toss articles into prison are examples of where authorization may be granted.

Many situations in which a court would be persuaded that an overriding public interest warranted such a conduct are difficult to imagine.

There are two options for defending yourself:

Overlap with other offences

Sections 40A to 40C of the Prison Act of 1952 outline three types of items that cannot be brought into prison (including drugs and mobile phones). Thrown things are also included in these offences.

As a result, section 40CB applies to any other object (however innocuous it may be) and includes psychoactive chemicals, which are currently considered as a specific threat.


This offence carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison (but penalties under sections 40A-40C can be up to ten years), and incarceration is very certain unless there is strong mitigation. As a result, it’s critical that you have the best representation available.

How can we help?

When loved ones make requests for items to be taken into prisons, many individuals find themselves in a quandary. If you’ve made a mistake, we’ll make sure that the whole picture is presented to the court in mitigation, so that you and your family get the greatest possible outcome.