release from prison - father and children hugging

The release of a prisoner can be both an exciting and a scary time for families.

You may have lots of questions if someone you know is about to be released from prison especially if they have served a long prison sentence. Will they be allowed to live at home? Is there anything they cannot do, or are there things they must do?

If the prisoner is being released on licence they may have to keep to certain conditions and this can have an impact on their family. If the prisoner is being released on a Home Detention Curfew or ‘tag‘ then you might want to know what their curfew hours are. If the prisoner has had a problem with drugs then you may be concerned about the help they will get on the outside. You might be worried about how you will adjust to having the prisoner at home again, especially if they are your partner and you have become accustomed to living without them.

The most important thing is to ensure you talk to the prisoner and share your feelings and expectations around their release as well as listening to their hopes and concerns. It is also important if you have children that you talk to them about what will happen and give them space to ask any questions they might have as well as allowing them the freedom to express their fears or excitement.

If you would like any further information or require emotional support please ring the freephone helpline on 0808 808 2003 or contact us via email on

To make it easy to print off the information provided in this section, either in Word or PDF format, we have created a library of Information Sheets which you can access by clicking here.

This page was updated on November 2018