Prisoners Abroad works alongside a number of different organisations to offer an even wider range of services to those people who need them.
These partnerships help us to make sure that prisoners and families in need can gain access to specialist help, expertise and resources that will have a positive impact on their lives.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
We have a close working relationship with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Their overseas consular staff inform all newly-arrested British Citizens about Prisoners Abroad and how we can help them during their incarceration. We are also a partner of the FCO’s Travel Aware campaign, which seeks to educate and inform travellers about the potential risks whilst overseas, to ensure that fewer people are arrested in find themselves in difficulties whilst on holiday.
Since 2002, in partnership with the FCO, we have employed a human rights adviser. Vicky Prais is the current adviser. She advises both organisations on complex human rights issues, including the death penalty, prisoner rights and fair trial matters.
The Metropolitan Police
We work with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that ex-prisoners who may pose a risk to the public are supported in an appropriate manner. We do this with their consent and co-operation. When necessary, we attend meetings under the multi-agency public protection arrangements to discuss how best to ensure the safety of the individual and the public. Our aim is for the individual to resettle and have the opportunity to live a new life free of crime.
Heathrow Travelcare and Gatwick Travelcare
These voluntary organisations work with distressed people at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. When ex-prisoners arrive back in the UK they usually arrive at one of these two airports – and they will often arrive with nothing except the clothes on their backs. For those without family here, and who are unfamiliar with London, the experience can be very disorientating. In prison, they would have been told what to do and where to be for every minute of the day. On the outside, the total freedom and number of choices they have to make can be quite bewildering. We send them information beforehand, telling them to ask any airport official to point them towards the offices of Travelcare, where their social workers will reassure and advise them, and give the ex-prisoner directions to our office as well as money for the fare. Travelcare will also notify us to expect their arrival, so that when they do get here we are ready to welcome them and begin the resettlement process.
Fair Trials work with people who have had their fundamental rights abused and/or have suffered a miscarriage of justice in a outside their home country. This means that we are often supporting the same individuals, and often face similar challenges in our work.
Cross-Border Transfer Unit
The Cross-Border Transfer Unit of the Ministry of Justice is responsible for people who transfer to the UK prison system from an overseas jail. We liaise with them on behalf of any clients who wish to transfer to ensure that their application is dealt with as speedily and fairly as possible.
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