We are aware this will be a challenging time, whether you are a prisoner being released during the coronavirus crisis, are supporting someone in prison or are a victim of crime.
Please be assured that whatever your situation, there continues to be services available to support you.
Do reach out if you, or someone you know, requires support, information, or advice.
Are you a prisoner being released during the coronavirus pandemic?
If you are being released from prison, you will find that services are functioning differently as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Please remember that organisations continue to be available to support you.
Even during lockdown you can:
- Keep in touch with your probation officer by telephone or email.
- Ask your probation officer for advice if you are concerned about access to prescriptions, universal credit or accommodation.
- Contact Nacro directly from your prison PIN or, if you have already been released, on 0300 123 1999 if you are concerned about accommodation.
- Call Street Link on 0300 500 0914 if you have been released from prison and are homeless.
- Access Nacro’s resource that provides information about probation services, access to housing and benefits in relation to coronavirus.
Are you worried about a prisoner?
If you are supporting a prisoner, we know this will be an anxious time.
The Prison Service has announced it will be moving individuals to single occupancy cells where possible to keep prisoners safe.
The Prison Service has also released a frequently asked questions document to try and address some of your concerns.
If you are concerned about a young offender, Children and Young People Now, are providing regular updates about the measures to safeguard young offenders during the pandemic.
The charity Appeal and the Government have put together some guidance on keeping in touch during this difficult time:
- Letters: You can contact a prisoner regularly by sending letters to them. You can complain to the prison if you think your letters are not being received.
- Telephone: Encourage a prisoner to contact you using a prison phone.
- Voicemail: You can also exchange voice messages with a prisoner using the Prison Voicemail service.
- Email: Some prisons use a service called Email a Prisoner. If you send a message this way, it’ll be printed out and delivered by prison staff. Each email costs 40p and you need to buy credit to use the service.
- Support their mental health by sending this activity pack by the Prison Learning Alliances.
If you need support, you can contact Pact for access to a free and confidential helpline. Pact provide practical and emotional support to anyone who is affected by imprisonment.
Are you a victim, concerned about someone being released from prison during the pandemic?
The Survivors Trust have put together advice for victims who may be concerned about the decisions around early release. If you have any worries during this time you can:
- Contact The Survivors Trust. They will continue to support victims during this challenging time and have been working with Police and Crime Commissioners and nationally-commissioned services on contingency arrangements.
- Contact the police on 999 if you are concerned about your immediate safety. Use Silent Solutions if you find yourself in immediate danger but unable to speak over the phone, call 999 followed by dialling 55. This will trigger an emergency response from the police.
- Further information on how victims can access support can be found here.
Everyone has the right to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
If you need support during this challenging time, please do reach out to the services above.
We are regularly updating our directory of organisations that can provide you with broader support during this time.