Preparing for Release

Overview of Resettlement Service

Prisoners Abroad provides a Resettlement service to returning overseas prisoners. The aim of the resettlement service is to support an individual upon their return to the UK. To access the Resettlement service individuals HAVE to be registered with us prior to their return.

How can you prepare?

The more you can do whilst in prison, the easier it will be when you're out.

Ex-prisoner Australia

If you are unsure if Prisoners Abroad know about you then please act now and write to us.  You need to be a registered client before we can provide resettlement assistance, this means you need to provide us with a completed:

 Authorisation Form

 Resettlement Needs Assessment Form

If you have not seen our paperwork or have signed forms but not heard from us, please write and let us know or contact your Consular representative and ask about registration with Prisoners Abroad.

Important things to know:

  • If you are not known to Prisoners Abroad before your return to the UK we cannot provide you with a resettlement service. 
  • We may not be able to provide a full resettlement service based on factors such as; late notice, where we do not hold sufficient information and if you would have difficulties engaging with the requirements of the resettlement team.
  • Do not assume that Consular Staff have told us about you, they cannot automatically pass on information about you without your consent, so you must fill in our forms.
  • Make sure you are clear with the consul who is going to send forms back to Prisoners Abroad. They might be able to fax or scan forms to us but you will have to discuss this with them.
  • Prisoners Abroad is an independent welfare charity, signing up with us does not make your deportation and removal more likely. We work in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on your welfare needs only. We are not involved in legal matters or your status at all.


The Checklist

Things to consider to help you prepare for your release and return:

  1. Have you completed and sent back a Prisoners Abroad Authorisation Form and Needs Assessment Form?
  2. Have you contacted the Prisoner and Family Support Service at Prisoners Abroad to inform them of your likely release date?
  3. Have you contacted your local British Consul to talk about the release process and what travel arrangements need to be made?
  4. If relevant, have you organised for the cost of your flight to be paid for?
  5. Have you talked to the prison authorities and the Consulate about obtaining a full passport?
  6. Have you gathered any other forms of identification (especially if it includes a photograph) you may have e.g. Driving Licence and Birth Certificate?
  7. Have you obtained copies of your medical records or any other official documentation that may be available concerning any health problems, drug or alcohol problems or treatment programmes you may have undertaken?
  8. Have you put together what money you can to bring with you, to help you during the initial days of your release?
  9. Have you asked any relatives or friends in the UK to see if they can offer you any temporary help e.g. a place to sleep for a few days?

Prisoners Abroad have produced the following guides to help you to prepare for your return:

Coming Home This booklet provides a great deal more information on all aspect of UK life and some helpful tips and advice about how you can prepare for your return.

Our Plan B leaflet provides helpful tips on how best to plan for deportation.

Returning to the UK and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 The aim of this factsheet is to address some of the questions asked by clients who are returning with a conviction for a sexual offence and also to highlight the relevant parts of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The full notification requirements are available on request from Prisoners Abroad.

Our Resettlement service is open Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm. 

Read about how we help after release