Offender - Family Member or Friend

If you are a family member or friend of a person who has been convicted of a crime, you may be suffering from emotional, financial or other hardships. You may be concerned about your children, how you will move forward or how you can help and support your loved one or friend.

Help is available for you and your family to get through this difficult period. This section provides information to assist you. It also guides you to more details about support services available to you.

If your family member or friend is a youth, then they are treated differently. See Youth Justice for more information.

If your loved one or friend is an offender, they may receive a custodial sentence, community supervision sentence or a combination of both. See Understanding Your Sentence (Adult Offender) for more information.

Keeping in Touch with an Offender in Jail

If your loved one or friend is being held in a correctional centre, you may keep in touch with them by telephone, mail or regular visits. For information about visiting a loved one or friend in jail, visit Offender in Custody.

Telling Children

It is difficult to tell children someone they are close to, especially a parent, is in jail. Here are some helpful things to think about.

  • Children may blame themselves and feel they did something wrong that caused the situation.
  • Children are smart. They may become confused or distrustful if what they are told does not make sense in light of their own experience.
  • It is better if the child hears it from you, the caregiver, rather than from someone else, like someone at school.
  • If children are not given an explanation that makes sense, they will invent their own explanation.  

Support Services and More Information

Services are available for a person convicted of a crime and their family members or loved ones.

For more information, please visit: