Prisoners Aid has been operating as a community organisation in Canberra since 1963. Over the years we have assisted thousands of clients, including detainees, released detainees, families of detainees, and those involved in the court system. Our key principles are based on natural justice and rehabilitation for detainees to reduce the risk of further offending.

Our twin objectives are to: ensure a ‘fair go’ for all those involved directly and indirectly in the prison system, including the families of detainees; and to enhance prospects for the rehabilitation of detainees and their reintegration into society.

Our offices are located in the ACT Courts building and in the AMC Visitor Entry Area. We have experienced staff and volunteers who are able to provide assistance to our clients.

See below for the range of assistance that we can provide to current detainees and their families.

Visitors
For visitors, we can help provide important information about visits to the AMC and details about relevant community and government agencies. If a visitor is dressed in a way that is prohibited at the AMC, we are able to supply suitable clothing for the visit. We can provide emergency assistance for getting to and from the AMC or ACT courts and financial assistance for interstate travel to visit related inmates in interstate institutions. We also can provide financial assistance to interstate visitors to visit inmates at the AMC.

Families and Children
We also support the wellbeing of the families and children of detainees or others affected by the justice system. Families can visit us any time at our court or AMC offices for assistance. We also run a ‘Participate’ program that supports children and young people to take up after-school activities of their choice. ‘Participate’ can help enrol the child in the activity and pay for some related expenses.

Detainees
We offer welfare and support to detainees at the AMC. Our staff and volunteers can visit to assist detainees with needs upon request. They can also email and free call us at any time. Some services we offer include property collection from the AFP Mitchell Holding Facility, storage of property whilst incarcerated and help with obtaining important documents such as birth certificates. We can act as a third party on their behalf to represent their interests whilst they are unable to do so.

Released Detainees
We can help released individuals get back on their feet. We can assist with transport and other financial aid such as foodbank cards, bus tickets, essential cards for groceries and clothing, toiletry items, bags for belongings, and occasionally emergency accommodation. We offer food hampers year-round with help from Oz Harvest, and during the Christmas period we prepare additional hampers for released detainees and their families. We can also help to issue items as requested by Throughcare and other support services and can assist in obtaining important documents such as birth certificates and driving licences.

Participate
Participate is a program run by Prisoners Aid ACT to support children and young people with a family member in prison to take up after-school activities of their choice. The activity can be a sport, music, arts, public speaking, or others of interest to the child. Participate can help enrolling the child to the activity and pay for related expenses subject to our budget.

For an application form, call or visit our Prisoners Aid’s office at the AMC or ACT Magistrates Court or email us: info@paact.org.au

New Logo for Prisoners Aid (ACT):

Prisoners Aid aims at a ‘fair go’ for all those involved in the prison system, including the families of detainees and those in court facing imprisonment. Our new logo was inspired by a detainee in the Alexander Maconochie Centre who entered our competition for detainees to suggest new designs for a logo. The ‘best entry’ was chosen in June 2019 and a small prize awarded. After further work by our members, we believe that the new logo reflects the idea of helping those in need – the symbolic hands in the design – and the idea of growth by detainees in their return to society – represented by the leaves.