We prevent deprivation among Britons returning from detention abroad and help them to build a new life free from crime.

We assisted a total of 306 resettlement service users last year, while the number of new returnees decreased 29% last year to 91 - the lowest in the last ten years.

Of the 91 new returnees last year, 36 were from Australia and just 12 were from the USA. The latter is an unprecedentedly low number and around a quarter of what we might typically expect to see. A mentioned above, this is partly due to new policy by the Biden administration, but it is not clear whether this accounts entirely for the drop in numbers. 

Although there was a 38% decrease in returnees from Australia, this was partly due to the sharp increase in returnees the previous year. This was accounted for by the pandemic, with the Australian government 'catching up' on deportations in 2021 after severe ravel restrictions in 2020 than meant few could take place.

Spain overtook Thailand as the third largest group of resettlement cases, with 6 returnees.

"The team helped me in so many ways I couldn't mention them all, but to name a few... they made me feel more secure, knowing that someone has my back, knowing that I have someone to turn to. Even if it is emotional or seems petty, I have never been turned away. My resettlement officer went above and beyond to help me begin a new life, have me hope and helped me to settle my troubled past. I am so grateful for the much needed help. They offered support when I had no one and nothing to depend on. They helped me feel human again." - A person formerly imprisoned in the USA.

Resettlement grants

During the past year, our resettlement expenditure cost a total of £99,225 - a drop of 33% which reflects the decrease in new returnees.

The charts below demonstrate a breakdown of the resettlement grant spend and the number of recipients in comparison to previous years.

58 ex-prisoners were referred for housing by our Resettlement team to prevent them from being homeless on their return.

£11,592 was granted to ex-prisoners for housing deposits to find a long-term home.

£12,895 was spent on providing former prisoners with much-needed food vouchers.

£7,378 was granted for travel expenses to help returnees get around London to attend appointments.

£1,195 was given in grants towards passport costs, to enable returnees to sign on for benefits and obtain accommodation.

"The resettlement service has literally saved my life. I don’t believe I would be here today if not for Prisoners Abroad. They have given me peace of mind in my most darkest time, and enabled me to have the courage and confidence to establish myself in a new and unfamiliar city." - A former overseas prisoner.

Work Preparation Programme

A total of 53 people attended the Work Preparation Programme in 2022. Of the people who were helped*:

  • 100% said it helped them know more about promoting themselves;
  • 100% said it helped them consider their goals and options;
  • 100% said it helped them feel more confident with the job application process;
  • 100% said it helped them feel more confident attending interviews. 

*of the 10 people who completed an evaluation survey

"I was very motivated to start my life over when I got deported to the UK. The Work Preparation Programme coach said "I can hear it in your voice, how motivated you are." She referred me to an amazing programme at the House of St. Barnabas. Twelve weeks later, I am employed with two amazing jobs and with this programme I have housing. I cannot thank her and Prisoners Abroad enough." - A person formerly in prison in Canada. 

"The WPP coach is very good at resumes - I've already done several interviews because of the resume she created. Thank you." - A person formerly in prison in Australia. 

"The WPP coach is very kind and helpful. She helped calm me after each chat and gives me confidence when I have nothing else." - A person formerly in prison in Australia. 

Service evaluation feedback

The following feedback is taken from 49 post-service evaluation questionnaires returned by Resettlement clients in 2022 after the closure of their file.

Overall satisfaction

The overall satisfaction with Prisoners Abroad’s resettlement service was again 100%, with 98% of respondents saying they were ‘Very satisfied’ with the service.

When asked what the most useful aspects of the service were, respondents replied:

"The contact with people who understand exactly what I needed and when. The whole process was amazing." - A person formerly imprisoned in the USA.

"Helping me with a mobile and SIM card, accommodation, food, travel card, registering with a doctor, Universal Credit, getting a bank account and a National Insurance number. Without their help, I wouldn't have had a clue how to do any of the above as it is so different to Australia." - A person formerly imprisoned in Australia.

"Having a knowledgeable contact and a person to speak with has been vital." - A person formerly imprisoned in Australia. 

We also found that:

  • 98% said it helped them feel less anxious;
  • 96% said it helped them feel more reassured;
  • 100% said it helped them feel more confident;
  • 98% said it helped them feel more positive about the future;
  • 945 said it helped them to make plans for the future.