Support for Families

Prison BarsEach year we support over 2000 families of British prisoners in foreign jails. Our skilled caseworkers offer expert advice, information and a listening ear at a very stressful time for relatives.

We offer support to any relative or close friend of a British citizen imprisoned abroad. These services, like all of the work we do, are free and confidential.

Nobody is alone. When we first speak to them, family members often tell us there is nobody else they can talk to. They’re anxious that nobody will understand. Once in touch with us, that changes. Our Freephone helpline is there so we can listen, comfort and advise. We will never judge anyone who needs our help. We will never turn someone away.

A problem shared… If and when the time is right we can put families in similar situations in touch with each other too. Our regular family days and support groups allow you to talk to others going through a similar set of emotions, and to develop friendships to help you in what are often lonely times.

Passing on vital news. Due to distance and complex prison systems, information and news can often take a long time to reach a family member. Our unique position means we often hear news from prisons or the Foreign Office first. We understand how the system works too, and can help to navigate the complexities of systems very different to those in the UK.

Making the world a smaller place. By helping prisoners stay in touch with the outside world, through freepost envelopes and grants that can pay for phone calls, we bring them and their families closer. We can also book visits to prisons, meaning it’s not so daunting going to see a loved one.

Making the complicated simple. Even the most modern prison systems can be confusing and frustrating. All of our factsheets are based on years of experience of learning how best to deal with the issues. They are completely free and can be downloaded or sent via the post.

Preparing for future challenges. The return of a loved one can sometimes pose a whole new set of challenges. Our Resettlement Team begin to work with families months before they are reunited to help them focus on the important things.