According to the Ministry of Justice, each year 200,000 children and young people across England and Wales have a parent in prison. Some organisations place this figure as high as 310,000*. Many more are affected by the arrest and imprisonment of brothers, sisters and other close family members. 

Prisoners' children are the forgotten, hidden victims of crime. They are often left behind and placed at risk by the removal of a parent and may suffer stigma, social isolation, shame and fear. They are at higher risk of experiencing mental ill health, homelessness and poverty than their peers and are also more likely to engage in antisocial and/or criminal activity in later life.

We offer a range of support, information, online resources, one-to-one and group sessions for children and young people who have a family member in prison. We can also provide guidance and training to professionals working with young people who are affected by the criminal justice system, as well as support for parents and carers.

Prison and community-based services

Online Resources

Get in touch

For further support and advice, you can get in touch at [email protected].

Pact also runs the Prisoners' Families Helpline on behalf of HMPPS. This free, confidential service offers practical and emotional support, information and advice to anyone who is affected by imprisonment - and can signpost to services near you.

Our Voice: The Charter for Children & Young People with a family member in prison

Our Voice started in 2014 as a youth listening project, working with a group of young people in London who were making use of the Prisoners Families & Friends Service. Pact organised a range of activities and listening events, which culminated in a new ‘Charter for Children & Young People Affected by the Imprisonment of a family member.’ The young people called this ‘Our Voice’. 

With support from Comic Relief and the Pilgrim Trust, we developed the Hear Our Voice programme, a multi-stranded initiative offering online resources and trainning for professionals.

You can lend your name to the charter and help us to ensure that young people's voices are heard in the criminal justice system. 


Sign Our Charter

* The National Information Centre on Children of Offenders (NICCO) 2018