last updated on: 4th Feb 2014
Criminal justice - local organisations
If you are thinking of volunteering to work with offenders or ex-offenders, then your starting point may be your local prison or it may be one of these organisations:
Futures Unlocked The Community Chaplaincy mentoring prisoners in prison and through the gate to help them resettle. Provides practical help and holistic support and works closely with other agencies as appropriate. All mentors are volunteers and they are always looking for people from the widest possible variety of backgrounds.
Prison fellowship In Leicester a group meets monthly for prayer. At Gartree there is a group providing prayer, restorative justice and the angel tree project (gifts at Christmas for prisoners’ children). Contact the regional co-ordinator for more details.
National Association of Prison Visitors Volunteers are trained to visit prisoners who have no-one to visit.
The three prisons within the Diocese
Chaplaincies are multi-faith and ecumenical. Some Church groups go in regularly, to assist at worship or deliver Alpha or other activities. Chaplaincies are often pleased to have guest preachers and to assist in enabling parish priests to visit imprisoned parishioners. In the first instance contact either the managing Chaplain or the Anglican Chaplain.
Criminal Justice - National Organisations
Transforming rehabilitation 2014 Government strategy for a new model of rehabilitation which includes the termination of the Probation Service contract.
Other sources of information
Prison Reform Trust Informs and influences public debate on prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners. Good source of information on a wide range of issues, research documents and links.
Criminal Justice Alliance Coalition of 70 organisations committed to improving the criminal justice system.
Howard League for Penal Reform Very full website with plenty of background information.
Restorative Justice Council Very comprehensive website.
For victims of crime
Victim support Also supports witnesses and has a helpline.
Working with offenders and their families
National Association of Prison Visitors Recruits and trains volunteers to visit prisoners who have no other visitors.
Action for Prisoners’ Families Source of information and advice both for families and those wishing to get involved.
PACT Supports prisoners and their families in making a fresh start. Strong Roman Catholic social gospel roots.
Community Chaplaincy Association Community Chaplaincies assist ex-offenders through the prison gate and back into society. Our local Community Chaplaincy is Futures Unlocked who are often seeking volunteers.
Clinks National organisation supporting voluntary organisations working with prisoners and their families.
NACRO Crime reduction charity working with offenders in jail on issues such as substance misuse, housing, employability. Has a helpline.
Prison Fellowship Prayer cells, volunteers working in prison, angel tree project providing Christmas gifts to prisoners’ children and other activities.Informative website. They welcome volunteers to help in their work.
Caring for ex-offenders Christian organisation with headquarters at Holy Trinity, Brompton but works through churches in other areas also, to support individuals coming out of prison to resettle and join a church community.
Unlock Charity founded by former prisoners to help people with convictions. Provides information and support for both ex-prisoners and organisations. Has a help line.