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Support Groups

There are a number of support groups for prisoners and their families to help deal with issues surrounding imprisonment, some are listed below although many more exist. Details for all of these organisations are available online, the Prison Service also has information and contact details for these and other support groups.

Addiction Advice

  • Addaction – The UK’s largest drug and alcohol treatment charity. All of their services are confidential and free of charge.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous – AA is an organisation of people who share their experiences of alcoholism with each other so that they can manage their common problem and help others to recover from addiction.
  • Lauren’s Link – An organisation which offers support to families and carers of drug addicts.
  • Narcotics Anonymous – A group of people for whom drugs have become a major problem. Recovering addicts who hold regular meetings in order to help each other stay clean.
  • Phoenix Futures – This is a specialist drug and alcohol treatment provider that offers a wide range of services to meet individuals’ needs and help recovering substance users to rebuild their lives.

Health and Counselling

  • Depression Alliance – The UK’s leading charity for people affected by depression.
  • DSPD – The Dangerous People with Severe Personality Disorder programme was set up to coordinate and deliver mental health services for people who are or previously have been considered dangerous as a result of a personality disorder.
  • Mind – A mental health charity in England and Wales.
  • The National Association of Official Prison Visitors – Co-ordinates the activities of Official Prison Visitors as well as providing a support network for these volunteers.
  • The Revolving Doors Agency – A charity concerned with mental health and the criminal justice system.

Family Support

  • Action for Prisoners’ Families – Promotes the just treatment of prisoners’ families by the prison system and society in general within the UK.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau – Provide people with information on rights such as benefits, housing and employment, debt, consumer and legal issues.

Prisoner Support

  • New Bridge Foundation – A group which offers a range of programmes to help prisoners keep in touch with the outside world and prepare themselves to rejoin it. They visit prisoners who have lost contact with family and friends and offer resettlement advice and courses.
  • The Samaritans – A 24 hour helpline for people who are distressed or may be suicidal.
  • UNLOCK (The National Association of Reformed Offenders – A group campaigning for better facilities for prisoners to plan for life after release, and to support ex-offenders in leaving crime and rebuilding lives.

Returning to Work

  • Tomorrow’s People – A charitable trust which helps people out of long-term unemployment, welfare dependence or homelessness into jobs.
  • The Apex Trust – An organisation which promotes employment opportunities for ex-offenders, providing them with the skills they need and working with employers to break down barriers to employment.
  • The Inside Out Trust – Funds and supports a range of activities to provide prisoners and ex-offenders with knowledge and skills to contribute to their integration into the community and lead to employment.