New Directions - Supporting Families of People in Prison

New Directions and COVID-19/Coronavirus

Dealing with having a family member in prison brings with it all kinds of challenges for those left behind.  The threat of COVID-19 and consequent suspension of family members’ visits is a very big loss to all family members and their loved ones in prison, particularly children who may struggle to understand why they cannot now visit Mum or Dad.

However, these restrictions are entirely necessary at this point, to protect the health and well-being of all those who live and work in our prisons and the health and well-being of their families. While the Irish Prison Service (IPS) has implemented a range of measures to mitigate the risk posed by COVID-19, it is also trying to facilitate video calls between those in prison and their families. Detailed information on these arrangements are available on the IPS website.

New Directions is acutely aware of how difficult a time this can be for families with a loved one in prison and is available, through phone, Skype, Zoom, etc., to provide support to family members struggling with these new restrictions, which come on top of the existing challenges of having a family member in prison.