Prison Leavers Returning Home: An explorative pilot study into the needs, barriers and solutions to easing family reintegration.

Project Details


The aims of this study revolve around gaining a service user’s perspective. It aims to:

1.Understand barriers experienced by men in prison and prison leavers in terms of securing healthy and long-term family relationships after release.

2.Gaining an insight into the effectiveness of Lego Serious Play (LSP) for individuals caught up within the CJS.

Key findings

Based on the reflections of the family, results can be categorised into two broad categories:

1. Barrier to resettlement
Participants highlighted the importance of a strong family relationship which will definitely assist the transition back to society. However, they also mentioned that there is not much in place in order to support this. Therefore, participants felt that keeping family relationships strong, discussing the anticipated issues and plan for the future is very difficult when a family member is in prison.

2. Support needed
Participants stated there are strong worries about the transition back into society, both from the prisoner perspective and the family's about his return home. One participant said she is terrified of having to change her established routine once again - they were a ‘tight-knit’ family and when her husband was sentenced to prison, she had to adapt her life as a single parent with two young children. She is concerned that husband will not fit in the new established routine. She is not sure if he has changed, if she has changed and how the new dynamics would be.

Another area of support identified was support for children. Participants felt that the children “put on a brave face” for the parents, especially the mother. However, they also have additional concerns. Participants stated they felt that having the school on board (as part of their supporting network), the
transition process would be an asset since the children view the school as a ‘safe place’ and might be more open to a professional in their school. Having the school engaged in such sessions, would assist the family in being an additional support for the children in this difficult transitional period.

Another area of support mentioned is employment.
Short titlePrison Leavers
Effective start/end date19/06/2031/07/21


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