Nobody's Listening

Nobody's Listening (1)

What families say about prison healthcare

The health and wellbeing of individuals involved in our criminal justice system is a pressing public health concern. As the World Health Organisation states, ‘by addressing the health needs of individuals during their time in prison, it is possible also to have a positive impact on the health of their families and wider communities upon release’. For Pact, as an organisation that seeks to support the needs of both individuals in the criminal justice system and their families, promoting health and wellbeing is fundamental to our practice.

This report draws on the views of 33 family members who collectively have over 50 years of experience in supporting patients in custody. It presents families’ insight into the impact of the criminal justice system on health and wellbeing, shines a light on the role that families play in supporting patients and identifies how systems, processes and services might be developed to unlock the potential of family support. We present 10 ‘calls to action’ which we believe will contribute to essential wider benefits across health, justice and social care systems, as well as society more broadly, by:

  • improving health outcomes for both patients in custody and their families
  • reducing demand on both NHS and HMPPS systems by enabling patients’ needs to be met more effectively
  • supporting the delivery of safer, more stable prison regimes for prisoners and staff alike
  • creating safer communities by reducing reoffending