Having someone go into prison is a very distressing and traumatic time for the family members. We often have people access our services who are very confused about what they can do to support their family member in prison. Here are some suggestions:
Keep in touch:
You can do this by writing to the person in prison care of the prison address.
You can also email them. All emails have an e-prisoner email address. Find the email address for the right prison here .. Click Here
The emails are printed out, usually once a day and passed on to the person in prison. They can’t email you back, but can write to you or phone you if your number has been approved.
Provide practical items through the prison property service. This could include items of clothing (some prisons provide prison issued clothing), underwear, socks, shoes, books, games, CDs, CD player, electric jugs, phone cards, etc. Contact your nearest PARS service to find out how to get these items into prison.
Arrange regular visits. Once you’ve become an approved visitor (link to page Visiting Someone in Prison) you can arrange regular visits by contacting the prison and arranging a time and day to visit.
Remember, while you might be busy managing all of the extra responsibilities now that your family member is in prison, they have a lot of time on their hands. Small but meaningful communication on a regular basis makes a huge difference to their time in prison.
Contact PARS if you have any concerns about your family member in prison. We can often contact their case manager, the chaplains or the health service in the prison to address concerns.
Other services that you can talk to:
Samaritans, Mental Health, Youthline
Call: 0800 727 700
77-85 King St
Roslyn, Palmerston North,
4410 New Zealand
Phone: (06) 357 9218