Information Sheets

Use these information sheets to help you understand the process of being convicted, going to prison, and the effects on families.

Preparing for a prison sentence

Preparing for a prison sentence This information sheet is designed to help you, or a family member prepare for the possibility of imprisonment. Planning Ahead Facing imprisonment can be one of the most frightening and traumatic experiences that defendants and their families can go through. You may have been told to expect a prison sentence […]

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What to expect when starting a prison sentence

What to expect when starting a prison sentence This information sheet will tell you about what generally happens when a person first enters the prison system. Arrival After people are sentenced, they are taken from court and initially transported to the nearest reception prison for the first few nights. They may be relocated to another […]

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Time in custody

Time in custody This information sheet will tell you about the different types of custodial sentences which can be given by a court. It also explains which Scottish prison your relative may be sent to. How much time will someone spend in prison? Remand An accused person may be remanded to prison or be allowed […]

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Are you worried about a prisoner’s health?

Are you worried about a prisoner’s health? You may be concerned about the physical or mental health of a person in prison. Mental Health Are you worried that someone in prison may be suicidal? If you are concerned that somebody you care about in prison is thinking about suicide or harming themselves, the most important […]

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Visiting someone in a Scottish prison

Visiting someone in a Scottish prison There is no standard procedure in Scottish prisons for visiting, and each prison can operate differently. This information sheet provides general guidance, and you will need to check any specific details with the prison, the prison Visitors’ Centre, Family Help Hubs, or Family Contact Officers (FCOs) who are based […]

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Travel and transport to Scottish prisons, and help with travel expenses

Travel and transport to Scottish prisons, and help with travel expenses There are currently very few coordinated services for relatives and friends to travel to and from a prison in Scotland. Sometimes a relative may be held some distance from the family home and this can make the planning of the journey to the prison […]

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Visiting a Scottish prison with your child

Visiting a Scottish prison with your child Visiting a parent or relative in prison is one way a child can stay in contact with them. Carers can help children to cope with separation by making it possible for them to visit their parents or relatives in prison. If you have not been to a prison […]

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Talking to children and young people about imprisonment

Talking to children and young people about imprisonment The imprisonment of a loved one can be overwhelming for everyone involved. It can bring about big changes and transitions for children and young people, but with your support they can emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong. One of the most difficult challenges faced by […]

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Prison transfer

Prison transfer Under the terms of the Schedule 1 of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997, prisoners may be transferred on request from a Scottish to English prison or vice versa. How does the person in prison request a transfer? The prisoner asks their Personal Officer for an application form Once completed, the form is returned […]

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When someone is convicted of a serious/sex offence

When someone is convicted of a serious/sex offence If a friend or a member of your family has been convicted of a violent offence or an offence of a sexual nature, you may have some questions. This information sheet explains what happens when someone is sent to prison for a serious offence. What happens next? […]

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Information about the Sex Offender Register

Information about the Sex Offender Register If your relative or friend has been convicted of a sex offence, their details will be held on the Sex Offender Register. This may have some implications for you and other members of your family, particularly anyone under the age of 16, who live in your home. This information […]

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Integrated Case Management (ICM)

Integrated Case Management (ICM) A person you may care about is in prison and serving a sentence and you may be unsure of some of the procedures. Families Outside produce information sheets to help you understand what these might be and how you can be involved in supporting your family member during their time in […]

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Parole

Parole What is Parole? Parole is a system that allows prisoners to be released into the community on licence, under the supervision of a community-based social worker. Prisoners can be released on parole if the Parole Board decides that they no longer present a risk to public safety and can serve the remainder of their […]

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Home Detention Curfew (HDC)

Home Detention Curfew (HDC) A person you may care about is in prison and serving a sentence and you may be unsure of some of the procedures. Families Outside produces information sheets to help you, and if your family member is being considered for Home Detention Curfew (a tag), it may be useful to have […]

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