UK’s first debt advice service in prison is launching – to help cash-strapped inmates | Personal Finance | Finance

The UK’s first debt advice kiosk in a prison is opening to help cash-strapped inmates. Prisoners can book a private, online video chat about their money problems with an advisor, via a tablet, within the soundproof cubicle inside HMP Brixton in London.

The padded unit, which also has a stool for the inmate to sit on, is similar in size to a regular telephone box.

It was created by Debt Free Advice, a coalition of charities led by Toynbee Hall, providing free and impartial advice to 23,000 Londoners with debt problems each year.

The cubicle at the South London lock-up has been installed as part of the prison’s ongoing programme to connect prisoners with debt and money issues to expert advisors, to help them manage their debt and help reduce reoffending.

Matt Dronfield, managing director at Debt Free Advice, said: “We want to offer financial guidance to those impacted by the criminal justice system, ensuring no-one is left behind.

“Our innovative video advice kiosk bridges the physical divide, providing uninterrupted support and access to vital resources for a future free of financial burdens.”

The soundproof kiosk is designed to ensure conversations remain private and confidential, and maintain the same intimacy and confidentiality of traditional advice centres.

Conversations are hosted via a locked iPad, which has no access to external browsers or other applications.

The video kiosk, originally launched in London in 2021, has so far facilitated more than 4,000 conversations. It is currently rolling out the booths into community hubs, job centres, and libraries nationwide.

Mia Wheeler, governor of HMP Brixton, said: “Money problems are too often at the root of offending – which is why initiatives like this are vital to equip people in prison with the life management skills they need to contribute positively to society when released.

“This, alongside the work being done to get prisoners work experience and jobs, will help many integrate back into their communities, and cut the chances of reoffending.”


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