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Pact is a national charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions, and their families to make a fresh start. We provide a range of services, including:

• Prison-based family engagement workers.
• Prison visitors’ centres.
• In- prison visitor support, supervised play, catering and enhanced family activities.
• Prison and community based relationship and parenting education programmes.
• Court and community family support.
• ‘Through the Gate’ and community based mentoring and befriending programmes.
• National helpline and digital information service

If you need support you can reach our team on the Prisoners’ Families Helpline. You can call them for free on 0808 808 2003, Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm, and 10am – 3pm on weekends. You can also email them on

Locations we operate in

Bristol - 0808 808 2003

HMP Bristol, Bristol, BS7 8PS

Services we Provide


Our mission is to support prisoners and their families to make a fresh start and to minimise the harm that can be caused by imprisonment on offenders, families and communities.

Our Goals are :
To ensure that the children, their carers, and families of prisoners have access to appropriate advice, care and support to meet their needs.
To facilitate opportunities for positive contact between prisoners and their families from the courts to release.
To support families and ex-offenders in the resettlement process.
To respond to the needs of prisoners at risk of suicide and self-harm.
To support the development of restorative justice and promote community involvement in supporting people affected by imprisonment.

What we do

Vistors Centre

Pact visitors' centres offer a child-friendly, welcoming space for people visiting loved ones in prison. Usually situated outside the prison gates, they are staffed by family support workers and volunteers who offer information and support to family members. Many of our visitors' centres have coffee bars selling refreshments.

Supervised Play

We provide friendly, well-stocked play areas with toys, books, games, arts and crafts. Our play areas are staffed by experienced playworkers and volunteers, who are all highly trained and police checked. 

For children, visiting a relative in prison can be a traumatic and scary experience. Our play services aim to reduce the fear, and to give children opportunities to have fun and be creative.

Pact supports children, helping them feel safer, less stressed and better able to deal with the separation from their imprisoned parents. We provide programmes and facilities to develop parent-child interaction and play skills within the prisons.

PACT Lunch
Pact runs catering services for prisoners and their families in prison visits halls and visitors' centres, helping prisoners to maintain a bond with their family through the shared ritual of sitting down to eat.

At our coffee bars, we sell a wide range of food and drink, including:

  • Tea and coffee
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sandwiches
  • Yoghurts
  • Chocolate bars
  • Soup
  • Smoothies

Integrated Family Support

Pact’s ‘Integrated Family Support Service’ provides a unique, specialist casework team, based in prisons and communities, focused on achieving the very best outcomes for offenders and their families, to reduce re-offending, and to safeguard and improve the life chances of offenders’ children. 

Inside Stories

Inside stories allows prisoners to maintain a positive relationship and presence in their childs life through the recording of a story book that is then sent to the child. This enables the children to hear their missing parents/carers/family members voice, and allows the prisoner to remain a part of the childs routine.

Time to Connect

'Time to Connect' is a course for imprisoned parents. The goal of ‘Time to Connect’ is to improve the quality of the relationship between parent and child during imprisonment and upon release, thereby ultimately contributing to a reduction in reoffending.

The programme consists of four workshops that can be delivered in a two day block, or be spread over four days.

  • The workshops cover the following topics:
  • The impact of their imprisonment on their children.
  • The importance of Keeping Connected.
  • The role of Mum/Dad and being a good parent from prison.
  • ‘What is play?’ and ‘The role of play’.
  • The different stages of child development.

The fourth and final workshop is devoted to the offenders’ planning and preparing for the Child Centred Visit, which is held approximately two weeks after the workshops. This includes choosing activities that they would like to do with their child at the visit.

Approximately four weeks after the Child Centred Visit a booster session will be held for the group of offenders to share experiences since the original workshops, recap and consolidate their learning.

Where we do it

All of the services described in the 'What we do' section are delivered at:

  • HMP Bristol 

The following services are delivered at HMP Leyhill and HMP Eastwood Park:

  • Supervised Play

How to access

To find out more about each service and how prisoners and their families can have access, please use the contact details below:

HMP Bristol: Leyla Jones - 01179 244866

HMP Eastwood Park: 020 7735 9535

HMP Leyhill: 020 7735 9535

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