Our Prisoner & Family Support Team talk about how we work with prisoners and families affected by overseas imprisonment. 

What do I take on my first consular visit?

Authorisation form

The authorisation form should be taken on all first prison visits when someone has just been arrested. The authorisation form is the single most important document as that is how a prisoner can sign up and give consent for us to hold / share information about them.

Contact with family and friends form

The contact with family and friends form enables us to share information with a prisoner’s named family and friends, so is also important right from the start. We can then explain how we’re supporting their loved one in prison and provide updates to them.

Craig Feehan Fund (CFF) application form (developing countries only)

The Craig Feehan Fund (CFF) application form enables the prisoner to apply for our survival grants. This is for prisoners in developing countries with no other financial support so will not be required in all cases. Please contact us if you are not sure if this applies to you.

General leaflet 

This leaflet explains the basics of how Prisoners Abroad supports Britons in or returning from prison overseas, and their families. We are happy to send paper copies of this leaflet - just contact the team to request this. 

What if the prison doesn’t allow paperwork to be signed at consular visits?

Our verbal consent form will enable you to get the prisoner’s consent: permanently if they are not allowed to sign paperwork or temporarily if you have not yet been able to visit in person but can speak by phone. You can also use it to get consent to speak to family members or apply for CFF funding.

A referral to Prisoners Abroad

When someone first consents to Prisoners Abroad’s services, please, wherever possible, send us a short summary of the case so we can best assist them, including:

  • The consent form, including FCDO Casebook reference;
  • The offence (alleged or convicted), including any official confirmation if possible;
  • The sentence length if applicable;
  • If the person is considered vulnerable by the FCDO and why;
  • The best address to contact the prisoner;
  • The FCDO caseworker; and
  • If their return is imminent, please see the Short Notice Referrals page for further information and complete a consular referral form.

Any summary is incredibly useful to help ensure they receive the support they need in a quick and effective manner.

What might I need to take after the first consular visit?

It’s always useful to have spare copies of the contact with family and friends form, in case the prisoner wishes to add/remove names of family contacts.

Our medical fund application form enables the prisoner to apply for funds to cover the cost of essential medical treatment. We’d advise you to take this form on all consular visits.

As the prisoner nears the end of their sentence, take a look at our ‘Approaching release’ page.