Prison Fellowship is a Northern Ireland registered charity affiliated to Prison Fellowship International, a charitable organisation with a Christian ethos which operates in over 123 countries around the world. Our Mission Statement is, ‘Prison Fellowship is a Christian ministry responding to the spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs of prisoners, released prisoners and their families. In our literature, we summarise our work as ‘Offering hope and a new beginning’.
HM Revenue and Customs No XN45576
Company Limited by Guarantee No NI055239
Charity Commission No. NIC103772
Prison Work: To inform, support, challenge and encourage adults and young people who are, or have been, in prison.
Support Family: To support families of prisoners and to help maintain and strengthen links between prisoners and ex-prisoners, their spouses, partners, parents, children, siblings and other family members.
Prison Staff: To support prison governors, chaplains, prison officers and other staff in their efforts to maintain and develop regimes which assist towards the rehabilitation of prisoners and the protection of society.
Victim Support: To promote greater recognition of the effects of crime on those who have been its victims whether directly or indirectly, and on society.
Each week our staff and volunteers make personal visits to prisoners in their cells, providing a listening ear to help ease the loneliness, fear and despair that arises of being in prison.
Regular visits are made in: Maghaberry a high security prison housing adult men; Magilligan a medium security facility housing adult men and offering low security accommodation for selected prisoners nearing the end of their sentence, and Hydebank Wood College Complex which houses (a) young people between the ages 18 – 21 and (b) Ash House for female remand and sentenced prisoners.
In the past year, 5,533 visits were conducted to 1,595 individuals with 2,886 visits to 1034 men in Maghaberry, 1,344 visits to 516 men in Magilligan, 766 visits to 144 young people in Hydebank Wood College and 537 visits to 201 women in Ash House.
We are able to run a monthly coffee morning in Ash House where 197 women attended during the past year.
When a family member goes to prison, the rest of the family are deeply affected. They often feel isolated in the community and are left to carry the burden of legal processes, family life, making important decisions regarding children as well as supporting their loved one in prison emotionally and financially. Many of them feel the shame and stigmatisation of having a family member in prison and suffer intense loneliness.
Our family workers and volunteers support the families through regular home visits, our Hands Up food programme and support groups, seeking to provide friendship, encouragement in these circumstances.
One of the challenges of ex-prisoners is to re-establish themselves back into the community. While in prison the vast majority of their decisions are made for them. Our desire is to help these men and women make the connections and relationships that will enable them not only to return but also contribute to the community.
The work of Aftercare is carried out on an individual basis and much time is spent befriending and coming alongside a person, helping with issues such as housing, employment, debt advice, social skills and others. An important part of Aftercare is the PF Centre, where weekly events are held for Bible studies and friendship.