Imprisonment and involvement with substance misuse is a whole-family experience. Whole families suffer the consequences in many ways, including distress, shame and stigma and breakdown in relationships. It is also widely recognized, that families have a critical role in reducing re-offending and in resettlement. Family support can also be vital in helping their family member involved in substance misuse to access support, treatment and recovery services.
Though imprisonment of an offender or involvement in substance misuse impacts upon families and disrupts many lives, there is very little support available that is tailored to meet the specific needs of BAME and Muslim families. We now offer emotional and practical support to those families where a member of their household is involved in the CJS or involved in substance misuse. This support for families of offenders is offered throughout the CJS process – from arrest, the custodial sentence and continued through the prison gate.
Key to our work with families is ensuring that parents, partners and siblings understand how CJS and drug treatment services operate and work with the offender or drug user.
We provide this much needed support to maintain and strengthen the ties between offenders/drug users and their families and children. This also helps the offender/drug user to think about the consequences of their actions and what their family may be going through and not just to focus on themselves.