Children and families of offenders have been described as the ‘forgotten victims’ of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), and advocacy groups argue that criminal justice agencies pay insufficient attention to the impact of their processes on families, meaning that their best interests can be overlooked or actively damaged.1 This paper presents findings from an evaluation of the Offenders’ Families Helpline — a free and confidential service providing information, emotional support and signposting to families and friends of offenders involved in any stage of the CJS. In 2013, the Helpline received almost 10,000 telephone calls and over 145,000 unique visitors to its website. The Helpline is funded by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), and at the time of the evaluation was delivered by Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group (POPS), a voluntary sector organisation based in Manchester. The aims of the evaluation were to assess the extent to which the Helpline meets families’ support needs, and to evidence the impact and outcomes of the Helpline for family members.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Prison Service Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Nov 2014|