PACT is the major Catholic charity for the support of prisoners and their families, working in prisons across England and Wales. It is good to know that Pact is there for people of all faiths and none, supporting prisoners and their families on our behalf and with our help.’
Our volunteers are so important to the work we do at Pact. One Portsmouth diocese parishioner who volunteers with Pact said, “Pact provides me with various opportunities to serve prisoners. Currently I spend Monday afternoons on the National Prisoners’ Families Helpline answering calls on a range of topics and providing assistance, reassurance and a path to addressing the issues raised by prisoners’ families. The afternoon is often emotionally draining but I come away knowing that I have helped families with prisoners who are suffering deeply and are in despair about their situation”.
Pact’s CEO, Andy Keen-Downs explains, ‘Our work in prisons and communities across England & Wales ensures that prisoners, children and families are supported; and their dignity is respected and upheld. Where appropriate we help families to make a fresh start together and live lives which bear good fruit. By supporting prisoners to be restored to the community, our work makes communities safer – research shows that prisoners who have good family relationships are 39% less likely to return to crime.’
Our Faith in Action team supports Catholic people and parishes to encounter the voices of people in our communities with lived experience of the criminal justice system, to reflect on Catholic Social Teaching, and to put faith into action. We offer our JustPeople workshops, Diocesan events, and a supported network of Pact Parish Representatives.
On behalf of HMPPS, Pact operates the national Prisoners’ Families Helpline. Our dedicated team of caring staff and volunteers provide vital signposting, information and guidance seven days a week, helping with a wide range of concerns. We dealt with more than 36,000 calls in the last 12 months.