Prisoners and their families

What work are we doing with prisoners and their families?

It’s widely recognised that a parent going to prison is traumatic event for their children. It can also be challenging when a family member leaves custody as everyone in the family needs to make adjustments. Our work with prisoners and their families aims to help to support them through both transitions.

Trauma and attachment insecurity are significant issues affecting prisoners and their families. These factors influence emotional regulation and the quality of interpersonal relationships. The Lancashire VRN is commissioning a trauma-informed therapeutic family programme designed to help manage emotions (e.g. stress, fear and anger) and build skills in conflict resolution. The cutting-edge work presents an opportunity to develop much-needed competencies to navigate prisoners’ roles as parents and ameliorate the risk of inflicting similar experiences on their own children.

The programme includes thinking about what support the families of prisoners need and developing links with local schools to further widen the networks of support the children of incarcerated parents may need. There will also be the offer of post release mentoring to support a holistic and trauma informed approach.

Initially this will run in HMP Lancaster Farms with plans to run in HMPs Preston and Kirkham.

This programme will be based on sound academic and therapeutic principles which have been evidenced to provide effective support in therapeutic and community settings. The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network will be undertaking a formal evaluation of this work to further the evidence already available.