The National Prisoners’ Families Helpline can support you if a family member is in contact with the criminal justice system. We provide advice and information on all aspects from what happens on arrest, visiting a prison to preparing for release.
Helpline opening hours
For help or advice please contact the Helpline on 0808 808 2003 (freephone: including most mobiles). The helpline is open 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. Please note the helpline is closed on Bank Holidays.
Find out what happens if a family member has been arrested
You can find lots of information on this website about what to expect if a member of your family is arrested from what it means if they are charged, how bail works, to their rights in custody. The information provided on this website aims to help you understand what will happen next and explain the terms and processes you may come across in your journey through the Criminal Justice System.
You can also find advice on what to expect if your family member has to go to court with support on how to find out which court they will go to, what to expect at the court as well as what happens when someone is remanded in custody.
When someone is sent to prison it can affect the whole family. For the prisoner, being separated from family and friends can be one of the most difficult aspects of their sentence. Here you can find information and advice on what to expect when you visit a prison, how to arrange a visit, what happens when a prisoner is transferred, advice about what you can take to a family member in prison as well as lots more information.
You can find useful information on all aspects of your loved one being released from prison on our website. You can information on release dates, Home Detention Curfew (HDC)/Tag, what it means to be released on license and information on being recalled to prison.