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Prisoner's rights

Discipline and punishments inside prison

DNA testing (blood and other bodily samples)

Can the prison take a blood or other bodily sample from me for DNA tests?

Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995, s 24J

Only the police are allowed to take blood and mouth swab (“buccal”) samples from you for DNA testing (see below). Prison officers don’t have these powers.

However, the prison can take samples of your hair or urine for drug tests. See the previous section “Drug and alcohol testing“.

When can the police take blood or other samples from me for DNA testing?

There are two different procedures. First, there is the DNA databank compulsion order. If you’ve been convicted of certain types of offences, within six months the police can apply to take samples from you to hold on the DNA Police Databank. You can give your consent (agreement) and it will be done that way; if you don’t consent then you’ll be given a written request for the sample. When you get this paperwork you should contact your lawyer.

The second procedure is a DNA suspect compulsion order. This is where you’ve been charged with something and the police are trying to gather further information, or alternatively where they suspect you of a serious crime and they want to investigate and gather more information. Again, the police will give you a written request for the sample, and you should contact your lawyer immediately.

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Discipline and punishments inside prison

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