A summary of the people we have supported, with your help, over the last six months

Overseas Prisoners

Over the last six months we have had on average, 52 new prisoners per month registering for our support. These new cases make up about 32% of the 1,600+ overseas prisoners we support throughout the year in over 90 countries across the world. Up to 20% of these people are being held without charge. In some countries people can be detained on remand for many years – in some cases up to 20 years. Prisoners Abroad offers non-judgemental and compassionate support throughout the process.

Grants that save lives

Prison conditions can be brutal, inhumane, unhygienic and dangerous; placing prisoners at risk. In countries such as Thailand, access to food and drinking water is severely restricted. This is especially harsh for British prisoners who do not have family locally to bring food or money to buy water to the prison for them. Occasionally, British prisoners die in custody overseas; tragically last year there were four. To mitigate the risks of illness and even death, Prisoners Abroad continues to provide life-saving grants for vitamins and medical assistance, in addition to grants to buy drinking water and nutritious food.


Families

Over the last six months, we have seen an average of 71 new family members per month signing up to our services. Over the year, we support more than 2,000 loved ones of which 46% of these were new cases.

Family support events

We run family days and support groups throughout the year, across the country, which offer a safe, non-judgmental place for family members and friends to talk about their experience. In the last six months we have held Family Days in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. These were attended by 53 relatives or friends. We also hosted twelve peer-to-peer Family Support Group meetings in Manchester, Birmingham, Bath, York, and London over the last six months. These were attended by 71 relatives or friends.

Casework and family online support

21%of the family and friends we currently support do not live in the UK, but typically in countries such as the USA and Australia where their loved one faces deportation to the UK after release. Despite being overseas, they can still call our Casework team and also access our confidential Online Family Network. This is a members only social network where people affected by overseas imprisonment can discuss and share their knowledge and experience with each other, creating an online community of mutual respect and support.


Resettlement

We have seen an average of 12 new ex-prisoners per month seeking our support upon return; out of the 300 people who used our Resettlement service last year, 149 were new returnees.

Emergency accommodation

Many people arrive with no contacts or support networks in the UK. Their first, immediate need is often a roof over their heads. Due to the chronic shortage of affordable housing in London, our Resettlement service users spend weeks in emergency accommodation. The cost of temporary emergency accommodation for Prisoners Abroad has more than doubled over the past four years and accounts for over 30% of our Resettlement costs, with deposits for more permanent accommodation accounting for a further 21%. We know that providing safe accommodation is the first important step to helping people to rebuild their lives.

Helping vulnerable people

The reality of arriving in a new country and having to integrate into a society you are unfamiliar with is extremely challenging. This is even more challenging for the 50% of people who return with physical health issues and 33% who return with mental health problems. Your support enables us to help people through the complex process of accessing physical and mental healthcare and social services.


Would you like to help support people on their return to the UK?

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