How we work
We are happy to work with other professionals to support families at any stage of the criminal justice system. Please read our case histories below which give you some idea of how we can help. Visit our referrals page to find out how to refer a family.
How we supported Maria
Maria attended one of our drop-in services following her daughter’s trial which resulted in a 7 year prison sentence. She became a carer for her grandchildren.
Following the trial, local and National Press released numerous stories which had an emotionally devastating effect on Maria and caused the children to be bullied at school.
Maria has health problems which meant she struggled to maintain the energy she needed to cope with the children.
Seeking support, advice and advocacy from SPF over several months she developed coping strategies, gained a better understanding of local services, learned to navigate the CJS and hone interpersonal skills when dealing with Social and Educational Services.
How we supported Mrs D
We first met Mrs D in the Magistrates’ Courts where her son was passed to Crown court for trial. Our trained court volunteer explained the legal process and outlined what SPF offers, establishing she needed further support at Crown court. At Crown court our Outreach worker showed Mrs D and her family the (empty) court, explaining who is who and how the trial and sentencing will run, including exploring with them what is likely to happen next so they are prepared for release, community order of a custodial sentence.
Mrs D reported that a policemen who had been very courteous during the investigation wouldn’t acknowledge her in court, commenting how this contrasts sharply with the way that victims’ families are treated. We discussed this with the officer, who we knew, and who was apologetic to Mrs D.
At the Crown Court, we explained the process and sentence to a confused and distraught Mrs D who wasn’t aware that a custodial sentence had been passed, and their son had been taken to the court cells immediately with no chance for them to say goodbye. Our Outreach worker who was with Mrs D took down the bag of clothes they brought and some loose change to the cell and passed these to the guard to give to J
We continue to help Mrs D with prison visiting arrangements, how to arrange visits and how many visits she is entitled to, how to get personal property into the prison and how to get assistance with the cost of visiting prison.
Mrs D now attends a local support group and has been to a family meal. She has provided feedback on how valuable our support has been helping her cope with and understand the criminal justice system. She has also built links with other family members who provide reassurance and support.