Story: Michelle Cook
We are a new Sheffield based group, supporting the families of people involved in the criminal justice system, living in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. We are based in Burngreave but our membership is citywide.
Imprisonment of a family member may result in a number of problems such as financial pressures; possible risk to housing; childcare difficulties and the negative impact on the 16,500 children who lose a parent to imprisonment each year; anxiety, stress and health problems and rejection, stigma, and victimisation by neighbours and the community.
Families affected by imprisonment face a process of grief and readjustment throughout the course of the arrest, trial, imprisonment and release. They often have difficulty getting the information and support they need during periods of crisis and stress, making them feel out of control.
Our group aims to mitigate the effects on children and families of a family member being in prison through support and information, and consequently, a reduction in the likelihood of re-offending.
We aim to:
Provide support and opportunities for mutual self-help – enabling family members to share their experiences with others in the same situation.
Befriend family members in order to combat their isolation and reduce stigma.
Enable family members to find new and better ways of coping with the situation
Signpost families to support and information from other services,
Provide well-written and accessible information on: the impact of imprisonment and offending behaviour, who can help offenders and their families and how families can help themselves.
Our group meets every month for coffee and a chat. New members are always welcome.
For details and how to get involved, please ring 07534 506 263.