Project information

Helping Britons Survive Prison Conditions Overseas

Hundreds of Britons are exposed to harsh, sometimes violent prison conditions in developing countries, taking a toll on their physical and mental health. The project will send prisoners survival grants to buy necessities like food, and free-post envelopes to maintain contact with loved ones.

April 2011 - March 2012

Charity information: Prisoners Abroad

Prisoners Abroad
  • Need


    Far from home, Britons can be left vulnerable and isolated in prisons abroad. In countries like Peru, prison conditions are typically harsh with overcrowding, inadequate diet and the ever-present threat of violence. There is a poor basic level of care in prisons and families are expected to provide basic items. Prisoners often suffer extreme isolation in countries where they don’t know the culture or language.


    The project will provide a life-line to over 400 British prisoners through survival grants and vitamins to supplement their diet and buy essential items like food. These seemingly small items make an enormous difference to their quality of life. We will also provide them with free-post envelopes so they can write to family and friends in the UK. Stamps are a luxury item in prison where communication with the outside world helps maintain a prisoner’s emotional well-being, even sanity.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To safeguard the welfare of British prisoners in developing countries.


    » Provide quarterly/monthly funds to British prisoners for essential items.
    » Provide vitamins to British prisoners overseas to supplement their diet.

    Success will be alleviated hardship among over 400 British prisoners in developing countries and an improvement in their level of nutrition.

    Aim 2

    Help maintain communication between British prisoners abroad and their loved ones in the UK.


    » Provide free-post envelopes to prisoners so they can maintain contact with family and friends in the UK.

    Success will be providing freepost envelopes to British prisoners in developing countries so they can better keep in touch with family and friends in the UK.

  • Impact


    1) Prisoners are in a better physical and mental health in prison and on release and return to the UK.
    2) Prisoners and their families maintain contact during imprisonment, on release and return to the UK.
    We will demonstrate success through the personal testimonials we receive from prisoners abroad and their families and by tracking individual cases on our database.


    The risk is managing to reach and identify all the British prisoners who are eligible for our support. To ensure we reach all those eligible for support we will continue to strengthen the close partnership we have with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). We will do this with through regular contact and training programmes so the FCO fully understands the people we help and the services we provide.


    You will receive a six and 12-month report confirming the numbers of prisoners and families we have helped and the help they have received. We will also provide compelling testimonials from clients to demonstrate how your donation transforms lives for the better.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £114,100

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 survival grants garnts for basics like food, cell space
      £14,100 vitamins/freepost vitamin supplements and free-post envelopes
  • Background


    The project will be administered from our offices in Finsbury Park in North London. From there we register the British prisoners we work with overseas and their families in the UK. While the survival grants are administered by us, they are directly delivered to prisoners via the FCO. It just one element of the vital and wide-ranging service we provide, which also includes helping ex-prisoners readjust and resettle in the UK on release.


    The beneficiaries will be British prisoners detained in developing countries and their families in the UK as part of our on-going work. Prisoners Abroad is the only UK charity that provides specialist help to British prisoners abroad and their families in the UK. In 2009/10 we helped globally: 1,691 prisoners abroad, 191 ex-offenders and 1,193 family members, and we anticipate similar figures going forward.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Prisoners Abroad has 30 years specialist knowledge and understanding of specific needs and challenges faced by British prisoners abroad and their families. Our work is widely recognised. Last year we won the Guardian Public Services award 2010 for our work with communities, families and carers. We were the winner of the Lord Longford Award and a Metropolitan Police Award in 2007.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nancy Wright, Finance Director

    Wright is responsible for overseeing all payments, including the survival and vitamin grants.

    Theresa Gilson, Head Of Service Delivery

    Gilson oversees who receives our grants abroad and which countries we focus on.

    Matthew Pinches, Senior Caseworker

    He works with prisoners and families, using his Spanish to the benefit of clients in Latin America.