Support and Information
What support and information is available?
When your partner or relative goes to prison, it can be a very difficult time. We can help and support you with any questions or concerns you may have, including:
- If you are worried about how you are coping
- What you need to know about visiting the prison
- Who to talk to at prison
- Advice on claiming travel expenses
- Any queries about home leave or your relative’s release
- If you are concerned about how your relative is coping
- Any worries about the children
- Putting you in touch with your local services
- … or do you just need someone to talk to?
Families Outside Support & Information Helpline
The Support & Information Helpline is an independent support service for families and friends affected by imprisonment.
Freephone 0500 83 93 83
- Lines are open Monday to Friday (answerphone if not available).
- If we are unable to answer your call, then please leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible and will only say who we are if you are the one who answers the telephone. We will not leave a message with another person.
- If you prefer, you can e-mail us at email@example.com
- We are also able to send you written information on a range of issues.
PLEASE BE AWARE: Calls from mobile phones usually cost. This will depend on the agreement you have with your contract provider or if you are using a pay-as-you-go service. We can call you back if you don’t want to use up your credit.
Texting Service 60777
To use this service text the word FAMOUT followed by your query or concern to 60777 and we will either respond by text or we can call you back.
Please note standard network rates apply. This is usually between 8-12p per text, but may vary between mobile service providers.
Direct Family Support Service
Families Outside now provides direct support to families affected by imprisonment throughout the whole of Scotland. Please contact the Support & Information Helpline on freephone 0500 83 93 83 if you wish to be put in touch with the family support worker in your area.
Tracey Burns Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Susan Cross South West Scotland, North Strathclyde
Kerry Knox Lothian & Borders, Fife & Forth Valley
Charlene Kenny Tayside, Northern
Families Outside has been striving to achieve Scotland-wide direct family support for the last two years, and we are delighted to have finally accomplished this.
We publish a number of information sheets regarding various queries you may have when a family member goes to prison. You can download these here.
We also have a number of support tools for professionals working with families affected by imprisonment. These tools include ecomapping, genograms and relational enquiry tools. Click here to access them.
Can I get help with the cost of prison visits?
If you would like help in claiming your travel expenses for prison visits, you should visit the Assisted Prison Visits Unit (APVU) website for information.
Information and forms can also be downloaded from our website:
- Assisted Prison Visits Scheme (Customer Service Guide)
- Application Form for APVU Scheme (note: 2Mb file)
- Confirmation Form of Visit to Prison
You can e-mail APVU for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0300 063 2100 - Mon to Fri 9.00am – 5.00pm.
You may have questions about visiting someone in prison:
- How are visits arranged?
- How do I get to the prison?
- Do I need to take any form of identification with me?
- What time do I need to be there?
- How many people can visit at one time?
- What will I need to take with me?
These are just some of the questions you may have. For answers to these and other concerns, please read our information sheet on Visiting Someone in a Scottish Prison.
“Excuse me, can you help me get to prison?”
Use the box below to get directions to Scottish prisons:
For general information about our work, or if we can assist with research, policy development, service planning or staff training, please feel free to get in touch.
13 Great King Street
Edinburgh EH3 6QW
Head Office (general enquiries only) 0131 557 9800
Support & Information Helpline 0500 83 93 83