Journeying from Despair to Hope…
On October 12th, nearly 60 people came together online to reflect and pray for prisons, prisoners and their families. Speakers included Bishop Mark O’Toole, Andy Keen-Downs, Chief executive of Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) and his team, Canon Paul Douthwaite, the National Catholic Chaplain for Prisons and Deacon Nick Johnson.
We heard about the importance of supporting Prison Chaplains and encouraging the faith journey of those in prison, as well as providing practical support when needed. Andy Keen-Downs highlighted the need for a culture of rehabilitation: keeping prisoners connected with family and friends to ensure they can make a fresh start on release and reducing the harm caused by imprisonment to those who have committed offences, to families and to communities. People leaving custody can often face complex issues such as homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and mental and physical health issues. We can work with other charities such as PACT and St Vincent de Paul to provide support at these challenging moments.
There is a short guide to useful sources of advice here
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If you would like to get more involved in any of these issues or want further information about future events with Caritas, please contact us – email@example.com