Resources for families
Families affected by imprisonment can sometimes feel as if they are enduring a 'hidden sentence', having to deal with stigma, shame or isolation, as well as the pain of enforced separation from a loved-one.
The reality is that many families across the UK are affected by imprisonment and there is a wealth of support, information, advice and guidance available online. It can be reassuring to read this and realise that you and your family are facing challenges which are common to many.
Ormiston Families is not responsible for the content or currency of external websites. To suggest a link for this page, please email Mark Proctor.
- What shall I tell the children? - One of the hardest things to face when someone goes into prison is telling the children, but it is important that you talk to them about what is happening.
- Being a carer - When a parent goes to prison things can change for everyone in the family. This information sheet explains some of ways that things might be helped.
- Visiting prison - Enabling a child to visit their parent in prison is an important way of helping them to cope with being separated from them.
- Being a parent in prison - Being apart can be very hard for both parent and child. Both must come to terms with their loss whilst adapting to a new way of life.
Website and freephone hotline (0808 808 2003) providing advice and support on all aspects of arrest, going to court and prison
Freephone hotline (0808 808 3444) run by PACT, providing practical and emotional support, information and advice to anyone who is affected by imprisonment
A social venture with a mission to improve communication channels between people in prison and their family and friends
Website and 24/7 helpline (116 123) for anyone feeling suicidal, or just wanting to talk to someone
Information on finding a prison
Online visits booking
Assisted Prison Visits Unit
Practical advice for those who may be facing their first prison sentence, without anyone to turn to
An explanation of life in the UK prison system
Information on keeping in touch with someone in prison
Bank accounts for people leaving prison
- Visiting Our Dad - a child's perspective on visiting a prison
- Breaking Barriers - an Ormiston Families' service for children affected by imprisonment
- Family member in prison - what to expect - a guide by Prison Voicemail
- Understanding the UK Prison System - a guide for families
- Little Children, Big Challenges - a Sesame Street film explaining parental imprisonment to young children
- Civvy Street - Guy Wiseman and Louise Duxbury, from Ormiston
Families, are interviewed on National Prison Radio's Roll Call about Civvy Street, a project supporting veterans
within the prison system.
This weekly show is was made in partnership with the Network for Ex-Service Personnel, to encourage ex-service personnel in prison to declare and get support that is available to them. National Prison Radio is a 24/7 service available in prisons across England and Wales, run by the charity Prison Radio Association
Family support organisations
There are excellent organisations offering support to families across the UK. The following is just a selection of those offering support to families affected by imprisonment. There are many others, national, regional and local.
Ormiston Families is the eastern region's leading children and families' charity. Our Unite Programme, supports children and their families affected by offending behaviour to stay together
Family Lives is an umbrella organisation which includes Action for Prisoners' and Offenders' Families, supporting families of offenders across the UK
Families Outside operate in Scotland, providing information for families affected by imprisonment
Lincolnshire Action Trust supports prisoners and their families in Lincolnshire
NEPACS (originally the North East Prison After Care Society) supports prisoners and their families in the north east of England
Out There is a charity providing emotional and practical support and an information service for families of prisoners in Greater Manchester
PACT (Prison Advice & Care Trust) is a national charity providing support to prisoners, people with convictions and their families
POPS (Partners of Prisoners) is a charity for offenders' families, founded by offenders' families, and operating primarily in the north west of England
Prison Radio Association provides National Prison Radio, a 24/7 service available in prisons across England and Wales
The Prisoners' Advice Service provides legal advice to prisoners