9 October 2022 is Prisoners Sunday – the National Day of Prayer and Action for prisoners and their families and all who work in and are affected by the criminal justice system. Pact’s work is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. It brings hope into the prison environment, where men and women experience isolation and long periods confined to their cells. Pact serves families, especially children, who experience prolonged separation from loved ones.
In the diocese of Leeds, Pact delivers a Well-Being Service which supports people on probation in the community. Pact staff help men who have been released from prison to improve their communication and parenting skills so they can build strong, lasting relationships and life-changing support networks for a better future. Pact also supports family services in HMP New Hall.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols is President of Pact and says, ‘I invite you to join with me in supporting Prisoners’ Sunday. Pact is the major Catholic charity for the support of prisoners and their families, working in prisons across England and Wales. It is good to know that Pact is there for people of all faiths and none, supporting prisoners and their families on our behalf and with our help.’
Pact’s CEO, Andy Keen-Downs explains, ‘Our work in prisons and communities across England & Wales ensures that prisoners, children and families are supported; and their dignity is respected and upheld. Where appropriate we help families to make a fresh start together and live lives which bear good fruit. By supporting prisoners to be restored to the community, our work makes communities safer – research shows that prisoners who have good family relationships are 39% less likely to return to crime.’
On behalf of HMPPS, Pact operates the national Prisoners’ Families Helpline. Their dedicated team of caring staff and volunteers provide vital signposting, information and guidance seven days a week, helping with a wide range of concerns. The Helpline dealt with more than 36,000 calls in the last 12 months.
Pact’s Faith in Action team supports Catholic people and parishes to encounter the voices of people in our communities with lived experience of the criminal justice system, to reflect on Catholic Social Teaching, and to put faith into action. They offer JustPeople workshops, Diocesan events, and a supported network of Pact Parish Representatives.
Pact, its staff and beneficiaries, will be grateful for any support you can offer either as a parish or individual. For more information, please see Pact’s Parish Pack which has been sent out to every Catholic parish in England and Wales.
Further information is available by e-mail on the following address: email@example.com
Pact encourages us to volunteer to assist its mission, or to give via second collection or directly via the Pact website: www.prisonadvice.org.uk
Then the upright will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?’ And the King will answer, ‘In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’