Normality is something we all appreciate. The routine of getting up, going to work or taking care of the house and children, returning home or greeting our spouse, and relaxing in the evening surrounded by those we love in a nice warm home. It’s simple really. Well, not for some.
Being released from detention is a shock to the system in many ways. With no job, a criminal record, little or no qualifications, a strained marriage and family relations and the unforgiving stigma of having been charged or convicted of terrorism, the former detainee or prisoner has a harsh reality to face. In addition to this the family will have suffered greatly and now welcome a father, brother or son who has sometimes become a stranger. With wives giving birth whilst they are detained, many prisoners don’t even get to meet their children until release – or for those who have, interaction has been restricted to pre-arranged and infrequent prison visits always conducted across a table from one another in a visiting hall. Fathers may struggle to find their place in a home where roles have changed and which has managed to run without them for years; whilst their children – who have become accustomed to life alone or effectively in a single parent family – may find difficulty adjusting to a new member of the family. Fractured families, financial difficulties and community rejection are a far cry from normality.
At HHUGS we understand the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration into society and this is why we offer several services designed to ease the transition from prison to normality. Our services include business loans to those with viable business plans, educational scholarships, family or anger management counseling, housing advice, rental contributions and counselling schemes developed for former prisoners to participate in upon release from custody.
“Alhamdullilah, it was during this time that I leaned heavily on Hhugs for support in every area of my life. They encouraged me to retrain in IT, funding the courses necessary for me to be able to work again. Even though I had lost my confidence and doubted my ability to find a suitable job, my Hhugs representatives continually pushed and motivated me throughout the employment process. Thanks to their invaluable support, I was finally able to start working again.” [Ex-detainee]