In 2023-24, Prisoners Abroad supported 1,156 British prisoners detained in 96 countries across the world, as well as 1,508 family members and friends. Our monthly statistics document gives further details about where we work.

Support is provided on the basis of individual need but, generally, prisoners overseas are likely to face the following types of region-specific issue:

Prison authorities in many countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and South and Central America often struggle to provide fundamental basics and inmates have to buy everything they need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, toiletries, bedding, sometimes even a space in a cell where they can sleep at night. Violence is common in many countries. For Britons, who neither speak the language nor understand the culture, prison can be a life-threatening experience.
Prisoners Abroad can send grants to prisoners who have no other support, so that they have enough to eat. We also provide vitamins to supplement the diet of people in countries where the need is greatest. And if illness strikes, we can aim to cover the cost of emergency medical treatment.

Prisoners held in North America and Australasia may not suffer from shortages of food or clean water, but they will experience the usual isolation of prison. Added to this, the majority of prisoners in this group were long-term residents in the country prior to their arrest, and will be deported to the UK after serving their time.
Rebuilding a life after prison is a challenge, but doing so when your family is many miles away in another country can leave ex-prisoners not knowing where to turn. Prisoners Abroad’s Resettlement team are here to help people get their lives back on track.

In Europe, the lack of a shared language only increases the isolation of imprisonment. It can also mean that Britons are excluded from the work and educational opportunities available to local inmates. This means that they are often just waiting for release, denied access to rehabilitation programmes.
Prisoners Abroad can send English-language newspapers, magazines and books. We can also help to organise prison visits for family members, and advise on the practical difficulties which can make such visits seems so daunting.

Find out about the people we support in prisons all over the world. Every person faces different challenges. 

Read prisoners' stories