On International Day of Families, the 15th May, we wanted to draw attention to our family work, and the strength and resilience shown by the family members we support.
The decision to stand by a relative who has been incarcerated abroad is not always an easy one, and for that reason Prisoners Abroad provides a free helpline as well as support groups and family days across the UK. These enable family members to speak about their experiences without judgement, and share their thoughts and concerns in a safe environment.
For the thousands of British people imprisoned overseas every year, contact with their families can be invaluable in helping to maintain their mental health and emotional well-being. We therefore facilitate this however we can, whether it be by providing freepost envelopes so that they can write to their families, or by helping to book a visit for that they can see each other face-to-face.
As one woman we are supporting in the USA said:
“Being the only person in my family in the States makes it difficult to contact home to my parents. When I first was incarcerated, it was virtually impossible to talk to anyone I loved, I had no way of writing them as I didn’t have the money to buy stamps. But when I began to interact with Prisoners Abroad, they started sending me pre-paid envelopes so I could send my mail to them and then they forward it to my family. This was, and still is, the only way I can keep in touch with many of my loved ones.”
Watch this video, created by the Prison Advice & Care Trust, which illustrates the emotions that a child can experience when a family member is arrested.
To find out more about the support we can offer families, click here.
To find out when and where and next family support groups are, please click here.
To help us support people separated from their relatives as a result of overseas imprisonment, please donate here.