HMP Stafford
Case Studies

November 13th, 2016

“You are among the nicest people I have ever known, both staff and volunteers. You will never be forgotten for the thoughtfulness you have shown”

November 13th, 2016

“You are all so kind and made me feel like a respected human being again and not just a prisoner’s wife. Believe me that was so comforting and humbling.”

June 3rd, 2016

The charity HALOW (Birmingham) operates a designated help and support line for the families and friends of prisoners at HMP Birmingham on 0121 598 8050

Pauline, a 55 year old grandmother told us that her 22 year old son was desperately worried about his two children, a boy of 4 and a girl of 2.

His partner had a drug addiction. Pauline often visited her grandchildren. From time to time the partner had taken the children to hospital with falls, bruises and a broken arm. On one occasion the boy had a burn the size of a 50p piece. Every month she brought the children to see Dad, and we saw the children. She was worried that her son in prison would do something silly.

One day she came in and told me ”I went round and found Annie (the partner) on drugs, the 4 year old boy was in the kitchen drinking from a bottle he had found under the sink …. bleach and the two year old crying, full nappy and in the cot. I called an ambulance and went with the children and my sons partner to hospital“. Indeed the boy had drunk bleach and the hospital was concerned.After this incident she took the children home with her. With the help of social services she was applying for custody of the children. When she spoke to us she had no idea of how she would cope. They need winter clothes she said. We said if she went to a charity shop she might find some warm coats. Meanwhile we had some new clothing that we keep for accidents.

We gave her some and a bag of nappies. We also said that if she talked to the social worker, health visitor or GP they might be able to find a nursery to take the children for a few hours each day to give her a break. The APVU travel booklet was given to her. We looked up local playgroups in the area where she could take the children.

Sally was an older visitor with a 23 year old son, Mike who had a severe disability and who needed to utilise wheelchair.

She also had an adopted daughter. Her partner was in prison. This gentleman had always kept the family together and did most of the caring of his disabled son.

Now Sally was on her own and fiercely independent. She would push the wheelchair all the way from the railway station to the prison .The initial problems were related to hygiene. There had been many complaints from prison visiting stating that the family were in danger of being banned. Sally showed me the letter she had received and talked to us about it. We gently told her that with some effort this could be dealt with quite easily. When she knew she was coming to the prison she should have a good wash, shower or a bath.

We talked about Jimmy her partner in prison, who needed her to keep visiting. Sally did not know that we had observed Jimmy with his disabled son and he was very attentive towards him on visits. The adopted 16 year daughter came occasionally but was reluctant to visit. Becky, the adopted daughter, also had had some drug problems and was now back on drugs, after coming off drugs the previous year. Sally asked for advice and information on where Becky could go. We talked about local drug charities and her GP.

We arranged for the 16 year old to come on a family visit. On that family visit it became clear that Becky loved art and painting, and that she and her adopted dad liked doing this together. On another occasion, we remarked to Sally that perhaps Becky could consider an art course at college. She could look at a college where people did not know about her adopted father. Sadly Becky took an overdose, and died before this could be done.
Sally revealed to me one day that she had stomach cancer. She was worried about Mike her disabled son. Whilst we were talking we mentioned getting her social worker back on the case. Perhaps Mike could go to day care for a couple of days a week.

HALOW Case Studies & News

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HALOW BIRMINGHAM is grateful for support from

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