We are currently supporting 999 British people held overseas, and 1578 family members and friends. Over the course of 2015-16* we helped a total of 1669 British citizens in prison abroad.
For in depth statistics relating to age, gender and ethnicity of people receiving support from Prisoners Abroad, as well as figures relating to countries of detention please download our Monthly Statistics (file size 73KB). All figures updated 1st March 2017.
Where our clients are
The effects of imprisonment will differ from person to person, but it is possible to generalise what the needs will be for prisoners in the regions shown in the above chart.
Many countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and South and Central America often struggle to provide adequate food and clean water in prisons, meaning that inmates have to buy everything they need, sometimes even including medicine, security and a place to sleep at night. Violence is common in many countries. For Britons, who neither speak the language nor understand the culture, prison can be a life-threatening experience. Prisoners Abroad can send grants to prisoners who have no other support, so that they have enough to eat. We also provide vitamins to supplement the diet of people in countries where the need is greatest. And if illness strikes, we can pay for emergency medical treatment.
Prisoners held in North America and Australasia may not suffer from shortages of food or clean water, but they will experience the usual isolation of prison. In addition, many prisoners in this group are resident in the foreign country prior to their arrest, and will be deported after serving their time. Rebuilding a life after prison is a challenge, but doing so when your family are many miles away in another country can leave ex-prisoners not knowing where to turn. Prisoners Abroad’s resettlement team are here to help people get their lives back on track.
In Europe, the lack of a shared language only increases the isolation of imprisonment. It can also mean that Britons are excluded from the work and education opportunities available to local inmates. This means that they are often just waiting for release, denied access to rehabilitation programmes. Prisoners Abroad can send English-language newspapers, magazines and books. We can also help to organise prison visits for family members, and advise on the practical difficulties which can make such visits seems so daunting.
For more information please contact [email protected]
* 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016