Offering a Helping Hand

Offering a Helping Hand is a new booklet, published by Spurgeons, which addresses the impact of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) and other indeterminate sentences on prisoners and their families.

Resources and guidance for families and others supporting people serving IPP

Offering a Helping Hand is a joint publication by Spurgeons and Southampton Law School and draws on collaborative work and families of those serving IPP sentences carried out by Associate Professor at the Law School, Dr Harry Annison. It is also informed by insights provided by Spurgeons' Invisible Walls team at HMP Winchester. The booklet:

  • Reflects on the feelings that families of people serving IPP may be experiencing
  • Provides links and information about a number of relevant issues and processes
  • Identifies more general sources of information that might be particularly helpful
  • And identifies other ways in which families can get involved, and gain support

Implemented in 2005, over 8,000 IPP sentences were imposed in total and though this sentence was abolished in 2012 there are currently 3,328 prisoners serving an IPP (including unreleased and recalled) in England and Wales as of June 2020 (MOJ).

''This new booklet reflects a growing recognition that further support is needed by many of those sentenced to IPP, and also their families.'' - Dr Annison

Support for families

Spurgeons delivers a variety of activities and programmes to support both fathers in prison and their families. 


Invisible Walls

Read about our award-winning Invisible Walls service at HMP Winchester


StoryBook Dads

Hear about how the StoryBook Dad programme works with fathers in prison


Family days

Our family days are a way for children to connect with their parent in prison


Top Tips for Families

Read our guide to supporting a child with a parent in prison


Further Information

Support services and useful links for families affected by imprisonment


Hope for Every Child

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