National body that binds together support groups

This week’s network hub: Action for Prisoners’ Families

What is the APF’s history?

Action for Prisoners’ Families is the national organisation promoting the just treatment of prisoners’ families throughout the UK. It was formed in 1990 as the Federation of Prisoners’ Families Support Groups out of a need for a national voice to represent the various organisations that support these families and to raise issues with the prison service. It became the APF in 2002.

What is the APF’s overall vision?

● To increase the support available to families affected by imprisonment both through properly funded specialist services (visitors’ centres and support groups) and through mainstream service providers from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

● For families to be provided with information and support as soon as someone is sent to prison.

● For government to recognise the importance of supporting families and children affected by imprisonment and designate responsibility for these families.

● To achieve tangible advances in the adherence to children’s rights within the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children Act, with specific reference to children with a prisoner in the family.

● To ensure that the APF is more widely recognised as the national voice on issues affecting families of prisoners through greater campaign and lobbying work and improved media communications.

What are the APF’s main activities?

APF’s main activities are managing the national freephone helpline; producing publications and resources for families and professionals; training and awarenessraising about the issues affecting families; informing policy-makers; supporting member organisations in their work; running development projects when funded to do so; and running conferences and forums.

Achievements to date include producing the visitors’ charter, which led to significant improvements to the treatment of visitors in prison; working with member organisations and the Prison Service to develop quality standards for visitors’ centres; and undertaking research with young people with a prisoner in the family to help raise awareness of the impact of imprisonment on children and young people with a prisoner in the family.

How many members does the APF have?
Are there any membership fees?

We have about 200 members (those providing a service to families) and supporters (those interested in supporting our work). Annual membership costs £50, but is free for family members. Supporters’ rates are £25 for individuals or £40 for organisations.

How many staff and offices does the APF have?

We have three offices: London is our main office with eight staff; our Norwich office houses our membership secretary and development manager; and our East Midlands development worker has an office in Nottingham.

Forthcoming events and projects?

Our annual meeting and conference took place recently, and focused this year on first-hand accounts from prisoners’ families of their stories of separation. In the new year, we hope to start work on a new project specifically supporting the families of serious and sex offenders.

Get in contact

Telephone: Head office on 020 8812 3600.


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