Behind the Walls / Beyond the Gates
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Behind the Wall Beyond the Gate: help for prisoners after release

Spurgeons' Behind the Wall / Beyond the Gate is a pre (up to 6 months before release) and post release (6 weeks after release with further support where needed) whole family, holistic approach to resettlement.

Multi agencies work with the family, and family resettlement meetings enables the voices, thoughts and feelings of the children & families to be heard. 

This smooths the transition from custody to community, providing help for prisoners after release in the UK and creates support for their families throughout those first few crucial weeks. 

Illustration of the invisible walls project - dad being greeted by mother and child

Support for released prisoners

Spurgeons are now taking what we have learnt from the delivery of Invisible Walls at HMP Winchester and family services across 11 other prisons, to develop a new resettlement service that puts the needs of children and families at the centre, while supporting them with life after prison in the UK. 


Working with all key agencies and sectors, we aim to enable better joint working that allows the voice of families to be heard and the needs of children to be a key consideration in post-release planning. This service is now available at HMP Emley, too. 

How does it work? 


Behind the Wall /Beyond the Gate will provide intensive support for fathers up to six months before leaving HMP Winchester. The support for released prisoners' package will be based on the needs of individual fathers and their families but will include a combination of the following: 

Pre-release (up to six months before release) 

  • Family resettlement meetings – to include key agencies but lead by families to express their concerns /hopes for the future and to identify areas where they may need support and to make a Family Plan that will be implemented and reviewed
  • Parenting support and healthy relationships programme
  • Self-study on a range of family themes
  • Home visits and work with schools
  • Family days
  • Special family time visits

Post release (approximately 6 weeks after release or more if further support is needed) 

  • Home and community visit support
  • Work with schools
  • Review of family plan with relevant agencies
  • Liaison with other agencies re: next steps/handover

How can I get involved? 


Access to the BTG/BTW programme can come through a range of referral routes including prisoners themselves, Resettlement Hub/Probation /OMU/Children’s Services. 


Father to be having contact with child/children 

Where support is available

Lives in the Southampton, Portsmouth, Dorset, Hampshire areas 

Behind the Walls / Beyond the Gates

We understand that every family is different and will work with all agencies on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the support for released prisoners and their families has positive outcomes for everyone.   

Further support from the Spurgeons prisons team: