Coming home to the UK

A Prison in PanamaOnce a prisoner is free, the work of Prisoners Abroad is far from finished. We help ex-prisoners rebuild their lives in the UK, including finding a home, job or training.

For many people, release from prison is the beginning of an equally big challenge. They may have no family to come back to, no home and no community. In the most serious cases, someone will have to begin a brand new life. Accommodation, employment, debt: all are issues faced on a daily basis by ex-prisoners.

Preparation is key. We work hard to ensure people know what to do when they come back. Our Preparation for Release programme starts months before release. Whether someone is returning back to their family, or coming back to a country where they have nobody waiting, we are there to help people move towards a better future.

Understanding what people face. We recognise that the transition from prison to ‘normal’ life can be difficult, especially for those who have been without liberty for many years. We treat everyone as an individual, deserving of respect and dignity. We will help people to begin a new life.

Somewhere to sleep. Nobody should be forced to sleep on the street, especially those vulnerable people just released from prison. We work with local councils, charities and private landlords to find people somewhere you can call home.

Providing the essentials. We make sure people have enough money for food and basic needs. We provide survival grants and help to access state benefits too.

Help with medical treatment. Poor diets and living conditions mean many people leave overseas prisons with serious medical problems. Our experienced resettlement officers make sure anyone who needs to can see a doctor on their return. Where long-term medical or addiction issues are a problem, we work closely with other agencies to provide extensive support.

Helping themselves. We help people to get into appropriate education or retraining and put them in touch with employment agencies too. We help people to take the first steps towards finding a job and supporting themselves.