The experience of being involved in the criminal justice system can be intimidating and overwhelming for various reasons. This can be a challenging time, not only for those directly involved but also for their families, particularly their children.
As a charity dedicated to securing better futures for those affected by the criminal justice system, including their children and families, we want to make Father’s Day a little less daunting by offering support and advice on this special occasion. In this blog, we will provide some simple ideas to make Father’s Day special for your father.
Spend quality time together
Visits are a simple yet meaningful way to let your father know that you are there to support him and that he is in your thoughts. The number of visits a prisoner can have will be determined by their status. For example, at HMP Lincoln, sentenced prisoners are usually allowed visits three times a month, while remand prisoners can have visits up to three times a week.
Because of the booking system and limited availability, it’s important to plan ahead. The opportunity to see his family can serve as a powerful reminder and motivation for your father during his sentence.
Find out more about visiting times at prisons in the region
Video calls are another important way of keeping in touch with your father, particularly if traveling to the prison is difficult. Further information about this can be found here.
Share your messages
You can let your father know that he is appreciated and loved through letters. They carry immense sentimental value and can be re-read time after time. By exchanging letters, you can keep the connection alive and remind him that he is cherished. To make it even more special, consider including photos that serve as a visual reminder of the love and support he has.
You can find the full postal address of the relevant prison here. Alternatively, you can use the ‘email a prisoner’ service, which is the easiest and fastest way to send a written message. Click here to learn more.
It’s the thought that counts
From books to clothing items, the value of a gift lies in the emotions behind it. Gifting something meaningful can bring joy and is a way of showing thoughtfulness, love, and affection. While there may be restrictions on the types of items you can send into a prison, it is still a heart-warming gesture to let your father know that you are thinking of him. Keeping busy and engaged can contribute to his mental wellbeing and reduce the risk of depression.
Learn more about the items allowed in prison here.
Additionally, at LAT we offer support to fathers in the criminal justice system through the ‘Being Dad’ course. Participants have reported increased confidence and knowledge, discovering more about themselves, developing a deeper understanding of their children, gaining perspective from others, and acquiring essential skills for life beyond prison. The course helps fathers develop and enhance their parenting skills. We can also establish connections with schools and other agencies to ensure dad continues to be involved in their child’s life while in prison.
We understand the difficulties faced by families in such circumstances. That’s why LAT has a team of family engagement workers who assist families in maintaining contact whilst a father is in prison. We provide advice on how to talk to children about prison, offer financial and accommodation-related support, and provide health-related assistance, signposting, and advocacy.
Click here for more information about our family and children’s support.