About Choices Consultancy Service
Who we are
Choices Consultancy Service (Choices) is a not-for-profit voluntary run organisation that assists prisoners, their children and families through difficulties that may be incurred during their involvement in the criminal justice system. Choices have been in operation since October 2008. Choices delivers family services in three South West Prisons: HMP Dartmoor, HMP Channings Wood and HMP Exeter.
Choices aim to provide service users with the tools needed to promote positive change by:
- Conducting needs analysis and assessments.
- Enhancing an understanding of the criminal justice procedures.
- Offering emotional support.
- Delivering practical support.
- Signposting to relevant agencies.
- Investigating coping strategies.
- Suicide/self harm prevention.
- Supporting prisoners and their families in the resettlement process.
- Helping to prepare for release.
- Advising on reintegration back into the family/community.
- Actively protecting children’s welfare.
- Liaising between families, the criminal justice system and other organisations.
- Being a voice for families via advocacy work.
- To ensure that the children, their carers, and families of prisoners have access to appropriate advice, care and support relevant to their needs.
- To facilitate opportunities for positive contact between prisoners and their families from the courts to release.
- To support families and prisoners in the resettlement process.
- To respond to the needs of prisoners/family members at risk of suicide and self-harm.
- To support the development of restorative justice and promote community involvement in supporting people affected by imprisonment.
Our Mission Statement
“To support and advise prisoners and their families to promote and enable positive change.”
Do you need support at this difficult time?
Choice Consultancy Service is a not-for-profit voluntary run organisation that assists prisoners and their families through difficulties that may be incurred during their involvement in the criminal justice system. Choices are based at HMP Exeter, HMP Dartmoor and HMP Channings Wood.
Choices offer a FREE monthly support group with trained staff who can support you emotionally through this difficult time. If you are interested in attending, please email us for further details.
Choices are also able to signpost you to relevant agencies for extra support.
Why we are here
Choices aim to support prisoners and their families
It has long been acknowledged that prisoners who have maintained family ties are far less likely to re-offend. Children and families can play a significant role in supporting a prisoner to make and sustain changes which reduce re-offending (Home Office, NOMS Reducing Re-offending Pathway). For many families, relationships are put to the test when a member goes to prison. Support for these families is sparse. Family members may not feel that they can discuss their feelings and fears with people they know for fear of recriminations. Choices aim to support prisoners and their families through these times with the aim of maintaining family ties where possible. However, maintaining these ties may not always be deemed appropriate. Choices also offer support to prisoners and families when they are separating.
For many families, relationships are put to the test when a member goes to prison. Support for these families is sparse. Family members may not feel that they can discuss their feelings and fears with people they know for fear of recriminations. At Choices Consultancy Service we are here to help.
Action for Prisoners Families and Family Lives
They work across sectors – education, health, social care, criminal justice, parenting, etc. to reduce the negative impact of imprisonment.