Despite the significant developments made in the Criminal Justice System field, namely investing in offenders’ social reintegration programmes during detention or community measures, little attention has been paid to prisoners’ families and their needs during the re- entry process.
The experience of incarceration has a series of economic, social, and psychological impacts on prisoners’ families. These families are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations in society, experiencing multidimensional and intersectional forms of inequality (Western and Pettit, 2010).
Many of these impacts on prisoners’ families can be alleviated by some moderators. NGOs, enterprises, and social services provide a diverse range of goods and services which are crucial for these families’ support and wellbeing.
However, these families often lack awareness on where and how to look for the right support. UpFamilies’ main aims are to provide to prisoners’ families a compendium of existing services available that can support them, as well as to promote capacity-building for organizations that daily work with these families, so they can be better prepared for their unique needs.
UpFamilies’ main deliverables
Roadmap on existing programs and services that meet the needs of prisoners’ families – consists of a mapping report on both existing local services and the type of support they provide to families that have an incarcerated family member.
“UpFamilies” mobile application – an application that will be offered to the prisoners’ families to find local, regional and national available services, filtered according to their prior selected needs. The system will also allow interaction between service providers and families.
- Increased chances of obtaining practical information that can help them cope with incarceration, improving their lives and giving them the opportunity to exercise their rights and voice
- Life quality improvement, by increasing their access to information that is crucial for their social inclusion and creating opportunities to lifelong learning
- Relationships enhancement and restoration of family bonds
Community based-organisations (CBO)
- Strengthened professionals’ knowledge and competencies on meeting the needs of prisoners’ families.
- Increased networking of professionals and effect on providing support that responds to families’ needs such as health care, education, parenting skills, lifelong learning, housing, documents, etc.
UpFamilies Project (“UpFamilies – online resources to support prisoners’ families”), a three-year initiative co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (KA220-ADU-8BBAA4D3) and managed by project partner entities in five EU Member States: Germany, Greece, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.
For more information on the project, please visit: https://upfamilies.eu/wp/