Pact charity is creating lasting benefits from family interaction with prisoners in Oxfordshire and Wolverhampton. A story by Pact:

Pact is the national Catholic charity supporting prisoners and their families. We work in 13 prisons in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. A key strand of our work is helping to nurture strong family relationships. For mums and dads serving a prison sentence, these relationships can be really motivating.

As one mum told us, she wants to ‘be someone for my kids to be proud of and my family.’

Research shows that when family relationships are maintained and strengthened, where appropriate, a person leaving prison is 39% less likely to return to crime so this makes our communities safer too.

As part of Pact’s Family Services work, our staff and volunteer teams organise regular 'family days'.

"I liked best about the visit that I got to have my very first picture with my daddy!"

These are extended prison visits where children can enjoy activities with their loved ones in a more relaxed atmosphere.

A Family Day is a special opportunity for prisoners to build strong bonds with their children and families, having fun, chatting, and eating together. Prisoners sometimes tell us that for those few hours they can almost forget about the prison walls.

This month at HMP Featherstone, near Wolverhampton, the Pact team helped 14 families to enjoy an animal-themed day - with mask-making. Children ranged from babies to teenagers.

There was a wonderful chance to have photos taken together, something not usually offered at prison visits. One child said: "I liked best about the visit that I got to have my very first picture with my daddy!"

Meanwhile at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire, Pact hosted GLAM (Garden, Landscapes and Museums) in our Visitors’ Centre. The highly-skilled GLAM team gave visiting children the opportunity to create shadow puppets and tell imaginative stories with them. The children were so proud to show what they had made.

Having mum or dad in prison is acknowledged as an Adverse Childhood Experience which can damage a child’s whole life.

The work we do at Pact walking alongside families, supporting children visiting the prison and facilitating opportunities to make shared good memories together can have lasting benefits long after the summer holidays.

About the Prison Advice & Care Trust (Pact)

Pact is a pioneering national, Catholic charity that supports prisoners, people with convictions, and their children and families. We provide caring and life changing services at every stage of the criminal justice process: in court, in prison, on release, and in the community.

Pact’s vision is of a society in which justice is understood as a process of restoration and healing, in which prisons are used sparingly and as places of learning and rehabilitation, and in which the innate dignity and worth of every human being is valued.  We work for the common good of society, taking a public health-based approach. We work at the intersection of criminal justice, child and family welfare, mental health, wellbeing provision and health & social care. 

Our volunteers and staff can be found in courts, prisons, probation services, and in communities across England & Wales.  Building on our Catholic roots, we are a diverse, inclusive, modern, and collaborative charity.  We build effective partnerships and sustainable solutions based on our well-established understanding of the systems in which we work, and on our historic values and ethos developed through our 120+ years of service delivery.

What we do:

  • Build stronger families and safer communities.
  • Reduce risk of harm to prisoners and their children.
  • Remove barriers and increase awareness in public services.
  • Influence commissioning, policy and legislation.



Twitter: @PactFaithAction


Instagram: @prisonadvice


Pact is a charity registered in England & Wales, number 219278.

Company registration number: 356443.

Registered office: 29 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UA.