If you or someone you know have been affected by the issues raised in the BBC Three Crime and Punishment season, the following organisations can help.


Nacro (England & Wales)

Nacro, the crime reduction charity, work with people at risk of offending and those already in the criminal justice system to provide them with skills, support and access to education, training and employment.

Nacro also work to resettle ex-offenders by helping them cope after serving a prison sentence, so they can settle back into the community and take responsibility for their lives.

Nacro’s helpline offers information, advice and support to prisoners, ex-offenders, and those involved with them.

You can contact the helpline on 0800 0181 259 (prisoners only) or 020 7840 6464.

Visit the Nacro site

SACRO (Scotland)

(Scotland) SACRO offer a range of services from community mediation to alcohol education; from helping families keep in touch with prisoners, to offering supervised accommodation for the homeless offender.

Call 0131 624 7270

Visit the SACRO site

NIACRO (Northern Ireland)

NIACRO is a voluntary organisation working for more than 40 years to reduce crime and its impact on people and communities.

It provides services for and works with children and young people, adults in the community, and people in prison and their families.

For information and advice, contact NIACRO (weekdays 9am–5pm):


028 9032 0157

Visit the NIACRO site


Pact is a national charity which supports people affected by imprisonment. They provide practical and emotional support to prisoners' children and families, and to prisoners themselves.

Pact provides services in 35 prisons across England and Wales. This includes family support caseworkers, visitors’ centres, children’s play, tea bars, relationship and children education courses and resettlement projects. Pact also run training for prison, probation and local authorities.

There is a freephone helpline, together with Prisoners’ Families and Friends Service for anyone affected by imprisonment on 0808 808 3444, or visit the Pact site

The Prisoners’ Advice Service

The Prisoners’ Advice Service provides legal advice and information to prisoners in England and Wales regarding their rights, the application of the Prison Rules and conditions of imprisonment.

It takes up prisoners’ complaints about their treatment inside prison by providing free advice and assistance on an individual and confidential basis, taking legal action where appropriate.

Helpline: 0845 430 8923 (Mon/Weds/Fri 9:30–1:00 & 2:00-5:30)

Visit the Prisoners' Advice Service site

Families Outside

Families Outsideis a national charity in Scotland that works solely to support the families of people affected by imprisonment.

It works to mitigate the effects of imprisonment on children and families – and consequently to reduce the likelihood of reoffending – through support and information for families and for the people who work with them.

Families Outside Support & Information Helpline 0500 83 93 83

Text FAMOUT followed by your query or concern to 60777

Email support@familiesoutside.org.uk

Visit the Families Outside site

Prisoners’ Families and Friends Service

The Prisoners’ Families and Friends Service (PFFS) is a national charity that provides support, advice and information to the families and friends of prisoners.

For more information see the Prisoners’ Families and Friends Service site, email info@pffs.org.uk or contact the PFFS Helpline on 0808 808 3444.


POPS (Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group) aims to provide a variety of services to support anyone who has a link with someone in prison, prisoners and other agencies. POPS provides assistance to these groups for the purpose of enabling families to cope with the stress of arrest, imprisonment and release.

You can contact POPS by phoning 0161 702 1000 or emailing us on mail@partnersofprisoners.co.uk. Alternatively for more information visit the POPS site.


Ormiston Children & Families Trust is a leading children's charity in the East of England covering a wide spectrum of services.

It works in prisons across a number of counties, supporting children and young people cope with the imprisonment of a parent. It achieves this through facilitating children's visits, baby-bonding sessions, running visitors' centres, parenting courses and participating in the 'Story Book Dads' scheme where parents can record stories onto CD and send them home to their children.

For more information visit the Ormiston Children & Families Trust site.



Addaction is one of the UK's leading drug and alcohol treatment charities. It has services throughout England and Scotland, that help people (and their families) recover from addiction and substance misuse problems. The charity has services for both adults and young people.

The Addaction website allows you to search for a service that best fits your needs in a location near you.

Addaction service finder


Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline.

If you're worried about your own or someone else's drinking, you can call the free helpline in complete confidence. It can put you in touch with your local alcohol advice centre for help and support.

Helpline: 0300 123 1110


FRANK provides a confidential, free service to anyone wanting information, advice or support about any aspect of drugs.

Helpline: 0300 123 6600

Minicom: 0300 123 1099

Text a question: 82111

Online chat facility (available between 2-6pm throughout the week)

Visit the Talk to Frank site

Know the Score

Know the Score is Scotland’s free and confidential 24 hour drugs information and advice helpline.

It can provide you, and those you know, with advice and information about drugs issues.

You can call 0800 5875879, 24 hours, 7 days a week, or visit the Know the Score site.


AddictionNI has been working since 1978 to provide support and treatment to people affected by alcohol or drug addiction.

It provides tailor-made treatment programmes for people with drug or alcohol problems, delivered in community settings.

It also gives confidential support for people affected by someone else's drinking or drug use. Call 028 9066 4434, or visit the AddictionNI site.

The Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline

The Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline is a free and bilingual telephone drugs helpline providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information or help relating to drugs or alcohol.

The helpline assists individuals, their families, carers, and support workers within the drug and alcohol field to access appropriate local and regional services.

Helpline: 0808 808 2234 (24hrs 7 days a week)

Visit the Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline site


ASCERT is a charity in Northern Ireland providing support services to young people, adults and families who are affected by drugs or alcohol.

Call 028 9260 4422 or visit the ASCERT site.

Phoenix Futures

Phoenix Futures provides support for people with substance misuse problems in community, prison and residential services across Scotland and England.

Get in touch by phone or visit the Phoenix Futures site to find a service in your area.

Phone: 020 7234 9778


Women's Aid

Women's Aid is a domestic violence charity which helps up to 250,000 women and children every year.

If you need information or support, you can go to the Women's Aid site to find details of local domestic violence services or read the Survivor's Handbook which provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic violence.

Or you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline (run by Women's Aid and Refuge) on 0808 2000 247.

The Hideout

The Hideout is a website created by Women’s Aid to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action if it's happening to them.

Visit The Hideout site

Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland

Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland offers a range of specialist services to anyone (men, women and children) who has experienced domestic violence.

If you are being abused, physically, sexually, financially or emotionally, you can contact the 24 hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline for initial support and to consider the options which are available to you.

The ManKind Initiative

The ManKind Initiative is a national charity that provides confidential help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.

Helpline: 01823 334244 (weekdays 10am-4pm & 7pm-9pm)

Visit the ManKind Initiative site

All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline

The All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline is a confidential, freephone sign posting and information service for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual violence or wanting more information on available support services.

You can call 0808 80 10 800, 24 hours a day, email on info@allwaleshelpline.org.uk or visit the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline site.

Scottish Women's Aid

Scottish Women's Aid is a lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse.

An important aspect of its work is ensuring that women and children with experience of domestic abuse get the services they need, both from local Women’s Aid groups and from the agencies they are likely to contact.

Its members are local Women’s Aid groups that provide specialist services to women, children and young people. These include safe refuge accommodation, information and support.

If you are a woman who needs support, please visit the Scottish Women's Aid website for the contact details and opening hours of your nearest Women’s Aid group. You can also call the Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline to be referred to a local service.

Helpline: on 0800 027 1234 (24 hrs)

If you are in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.



Shelter helps three million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness, via their website, helpline and face to face services.

They exist so that no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.

Free Housing advice helpline: 0808 800 4444

Visit the Shelter site

Information from Shelter for people who are homeless leaving prison

Shelter Cymru

Shelter Cymru is Wales’s people and homes charity.

It provides free specialist legal advice and advocacy to anyone with housing difficulties and campaigns to prevent homelessness, improve housing conditions, and ensure a safe, suitable and affordable home for all.

To get advice call the Shelter Cymru helpline on 0845 075 5005.

Visit the Shelter Cymru site

Information from Shelter Cymru on the Prison Linc Cymru project, which helps prisoners prior to release

Shelter Scotland

Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – online, on the phone and in the local community. It's here so that no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.

Contact Shelter Scotland on the free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444 or visit the Shelter Scotland site.

Information from Shelter Scotland for people who are homeless leaving prison

Housing Rights Service

Housing Rights Service works on behalf of people who are homeless or living in poor housing in Northern Ireland. Its services include a housing advice line, advocacy and legal representation work on behalf of people with housing problems and dedicated debt advisers to advise and represent families threatened with repossession.

If you’d like advice on a general housing issue, such as renting privately, dealing with the Housing Executive and finding accommodation, you can contact Housing Rights Service on 028 9024 5640 from 9.30am and 1.30pm Monday to Friday.

If your issue relates to mortgage or secured loan arrears you can call the Mortgage Debt Advice Service on 0300 323 0310 between 9.30am and 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and between 9.30am and 8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Alternatively, online advice and information is available at the Housing Rights Service site.

Advice for prisoners and their families from the Housing Rights Service

StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange Debt Charity helps people in financial difficulty by providing free, confidential, independent and realistic debt advice.

Helpline: 0800 138 1111 (weekdays 8am-8pm; Saturdays 9am-3pm).

Its free online counselling, StepChange Debt Charity Debt Remedy, is available anytime online at the StepChange site.

National Debtline

National Debtline is a national telephone helpline offering free, confidential and independent advice for people with debt problems.

Advice is backed up with written self-help materials which can be sent out for free or downloaded from the National Debtline site or call 0808 808 4000, Monday to Friday between 9am and 9pm and on Saturdays between 9.30am and 1pm.

There is a 24 hour voicemail to request an information pack or factsheet.

My Money Steps

My Money Steps (also run by National Debtline) is a free online debt advice service, which provides a personalised action plan for dealing with your debts.

Visit the My Money Steps site

Civil Legal Advice

Civil Legal Advice provides specialist independent legal advice in debt, education, discrimination, housing, and family law to people in England & Wales who live on a low income or benefits.

If a client is financially eligible, it never charges for use of its services. All of the help and advice is funded by the government through legal aid.

Advice is available via the helpline on 0845 345 4 345 and an Online Advice service at the Civil Legal Advice site.

Those who cannot be offered advice will be directed to alternative sources of advice and information, including local legal aid providers.


Victim Support

If you’ve been a victim or witness of any crime you can get emotional and practical help from Victim Support, whether or not it has been reported to the police.

Phone: 0845 30 30 900

Visit the Victim Support site

Victim Support Scotland

Victim Support Scotland offers emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across Scotland.

Supportline: 0845 603 9213

Visit the Victim Support Scotland site

Victim Support NI

Victim Support NI offers emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across Northern Ireland.

Phone: 028 9024 4039 or Victim Support Line: 0845 30 30 900

Visit the Victim Support NI site

Support after Murder and Manslaughter

Support after Murder and Manslaughter offers understanding and support to families and friends who have been bereaved as a result of murder or manslaughter, through the mutual support of others who have suffered a similar tragedy.

Confidential helpline: 0845 8723440

Visit the Support after Murder and Manslaughter site



Mind is a leading mental health charity in England and Wales. It provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

The charity campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. The Mind infoline provides information on a range of topics including types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments and advocacy.

It is are also able to provide details of local help and support.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (weekdays 9am - 6pm)

Email: info@mind.org.uk

Visit the Mind site

Community Advice & Listening Line

Community Advice & Listening Line offers emotional support and information/literature on mental health and related matters to the people of Wales.

Anyone concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend can access the service.

The C.A.L.L. Helpline offers a confidential listening and support service.

Freephone: 0800 132 737, or text "help" to 81066.

Visit the Community Advice & Listening Line site


SAMH is the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

It exists to provide help, information and support; to campaign on behalf of people with mental health problems and to raise money to fund their work.

It operates an information service from Monday to Friday between 2pm and 4pm.

Information service staff and volunteers can answer general mental health enquiries, advise you on your rights and signpost you to your local services.

Phone: 0800 917 3466

Email: info@samh.org.uk

Visit the Scottish Association for Mental Health site

Niamh Mental Wellbeing

Niamh Mental Wellbeing (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) provides local services to support the mental health and wellbeing of people across Northern Ireland.

Through Beacon, it provides day, housing and advocacy support for anyone with experience of mental illness as well as support groups and learning programmes.

Through Carecall Niamh provides access to counselling and psychological therapies as well as mental health and wellbeing programmes, mainly in the workplace, colleges and higher education.

Phone: 028 9032 8474

Email: info@niamhwellbeing.org

Visit the Niamh Mental Wellbeing site


The National Rape Crisis Helpline

The National Rape Crisis Helpline is accessible 365 days a year to women calling from anywhere in England and Wales who have survived any form of sexual violence, no matter how long ago, offering specialised, confidential support, information and referral details completely free of charge.

The helpline is also available to provide an immediate source of support to friends and family of survivors, as well as other professionals, to understand how best to support female survivors of sexual violence.

Call the helpline on 0808 802 9999 or find out more online at the National Rape Crisis Helpline site.

Rape Crisis Scotland

Rape Crisis Scotland provides a national rape crisis helpline for anyone affected by sexual violence, no matter when or how it happened.

The helpline offers free and confidential crisis support and information. It can also put you in touch with local rape crisis centres or other services for ongoing support.

Call 0808 801 03 02 from 6pm to midnight 7 days a week, email support@rapecrisisscotland.org.uk or visit the Rape Crisis Scotland site.


NEXUS NI works across Northern Ireland to respond to the needs of survivors of sexual violence.

It offers counselling to victims of rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse. Contact your local Nexus office by phone or email to arrange counselling or to ask for more information.

Nexus NI: 028 9032 6803

Email: info@nexusni.org

Visit the NEXUS NI site

Survivors Trust

The Survivors Trust has over 130 member agencies based in the UK and Ireland which provide specialist support for women, men and children who are survivors of rape, sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse.

Contact the Trust by emailing info@thesurvivorstrust.org, or visit the Survivors Trust site.

Survivors UK

Survivors UK provides information, support and counselling for men who have been raped or sexually abused.

Phone: 0845 122 1201 (Monday & Tuesday evenings 7pm-9.30pm; Thursday afternoons 12 noon-2:30pm)

Visit the Survivors UK site

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood is a charity that offers support, advice and guidance to adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse.

Phone: 0800 085 3330

Visit the National Association for People Abused in Childhood site

Prisoners Education Trust

Prisoners Education Trust (PET) provides prisoners with grants for distance learning courses and tailored advice. They run a network for released prisoners that they have funded and also work to improve education in prison. PET welcome enquiries from prisoners, their families, ex-prisoners and prison staff.

Visit the Prisoners Education Trust site

Tel 020 8648 7760

Prisoners can write to PET at Freepost: Prisoners Education Trust

Opportunity Youth

Opportunity Youth (Northern Ireland) provides a range of services and interventions in the areas of health, justice and the economy – this includes drug and alcohol support in the community and in prisons, support for young offenders, employability programmes and residential experiences. Opportunity Youth works with young people, adults and families.

To find out more about its services, visit the Opportunity Youth site or call 028 9043 5810.



If you’re a young person and you’re considering suicide, or you feel depressed or like you’re not coping with life, HOPELineUK, provided by the organisation PAPYRUS, is a confidential helpline service staffed by trained professionals who can give support, practical advice and information.

PAPYRUS can also offer help and advice if you’re concerned about someone you know.

Helpline: 0800 068 41 41

Email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Text 07786 209 697

Visit the PAPYRUS site


Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.

Freephone: 0808 808 8000 (24 hours a day)

Visit the Lifeline site


Samaritans is available for anyone struggling to cope round the clock, every single day of the year.

It provides a safe place to talk where calls are completely confidential. Get in touch by phone or email or find the details for the local branch online

Phone: 08457 90 90 90

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Visit the Samaritans site


CALM, the campaign against living miserably, is a charity aimed at preventing male suicide in the UK.

Calls to its helpline are anonymous, confidential, free from a landline and will not appear on itemised bills.

Helpline: 0800 58 58 58 (daily 5pm-midnight)

Visit the CALM site

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend.

Call 0844 561 6855, 9am to 9pm every day, or visit the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide site.


The Who Cares? Trust

The Who Cares? Trust runs projects for children in care.

Everything it does is designed to improve the day to day experience of children and young people in care - and their future lives.

It does this in a number of ways, including informing and supporting children in care through specially designed magazines and publications, and providing support materials for foster carers, local authorities and other professionals responsible for their welfare and education.

Phone: 020 7251 3117 (Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 5.30pm. Please note that this is not a helpline)

Visit the Who Cares? Trust site

Visit Who Cares? Town - designed for especially for children and young people in care

A National Voice

A National Voice is an organisation run by and for care experienced young people. Some staff are also care experienced.

Its main aim is to create positive changes to the Care System in England and provide a national platform to hear the voices of approx 65,000 children and young people who are Looked After.

Find out more by visiting the National Voice site

Prison Reform Trust

The work of the Prison Reform Trust is aimed at creating a just, humane and effective penal system.

They do this by inquiring into the workings of the system; informing prisoners, staff, and the wider public; and by influencing parliament, government and officials towards reform.

Visit the Prison Reform Trust site


INQUEST is a charity providing free advice to bereaved people facing an inquest, with a focus on deaths in custody.

It works for truth, justice and accountability for families and for policy change at the highest level.

Visit the INQUEST site

Coram Children's Legal Centre

Coram Children's Legal Centre (CCLC) is an independent national charity which works to promote children’s rights in the UK and abroad.

The centre offers free legal information, advice and representation to children and their families in child, family and education law.

CCLC provides free legal advice through the Child Law Advice Line on 08088 020 008. or visit the Coram Children's Legal Centre site.

The In Care Survivors Service Scotland

The In Care Survivors Service Scotland, a partnership led by Open Secret, is a support service for adults who suffered childhood abuse in care and their families.

Contact the confidential helpline on 0800 121 6027, Monday to Friday from 9am until 11am or visit the In Care Survivors Service Scotland site.


Voice UK

Voice UK is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable people who have experienced crime or abuse.

Its helpline for carers, parents and professionals is 0808 802 8686, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, or email helpline@voiceuk.org.uk.

Text 07797 800 642.

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) is part of the Mental Health Foundation and is dedicated to reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by people with learning disabilities.

The FPLD provides information and resources, and pilots innovative service models that can help people with learning disabilities lead full and independent lives.

Phone: 020 7803 1120

Email: customerservices@fpld.org.uk

Visit the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities site


ADDERS promotes awareness of AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and to provide information and as much free practical help as possible to those affected by the condition, both adults and children, their families in the UK and around the World.

Visit the ADDERS site


ADDISS, the Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service, aims to provide information and resources about ADHD to anyone who needs assistance - parents, sufferers, teachers or health professionals.

Contact ADDISS by phone on 020 8952 2800, or visit the ADDISS site.

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