Request a prison video link

How to ask for a prison video link (PVL) so you can communicate more easily with your client before, during or after a court hearing.

Applies to England and Wales


Prison video links (PVLs) offer a way for you to contact your client directly when they are in prison.

Communicating by PVL improves the security and protection of witnesses and victims in court while also reducing the risk of escape.

Using a PVL is also less disruptive to your client’s prison regime and can improve care of vulnerable prisoners.

How to pre-book

Check with your client’s prison to see if they have a reliable, high-speed video link. You can then book court booths to arrange PVLs with your client.

You can contact the court to pre-book the PVL.

Pre-booking generally depends on whether:

  • the prison has the video conference equipment available in an appropriate location
  • the correct rooms are available
  • there are staff available to escort your client

If you have ISDN connected video teleconferencing (VTC) available in your firm or Chambers, you can also establish a bridged ISDN link from there to the prison.

Other uses

You can also use a PVL for:

  • probation visits
  • official visits
  • inter-prison visits
  • staff training

Further information

How to use court video booths (PDF, 249 KB, 9 pages)

Magistrates’ courts with PVL technology

Prisons with PVL technology (PDF, 436 KB, 8 pages)

Published 1 October 2014