If you are arrested overseas:
- Personally notify, or ask the prison authorities to notify, the U.S. embassy or consulate: Here is a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
- Contact your supervisor or trip leader, and relatives.
- Let ITHS know
Consular Assistance to U.S. Prisoners
When a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, he or she may be initially confused and disoriented. It can be more difficult because the prisoner is in unfamiliar surroundings and may not know the local language, customs, or legal system.
Consular services can:
- Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English;
- Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission;
- Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate;
- Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care for you;
- Provide a general overview of the local criminal justice process;
- Inform the detainee of local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime that may be available to them;
- Upon request, ensure that prison officials are permitting visits with a member of the clergy of the religion of your choice; and
- Establish an OCS Trust, when no other means to send funds are available, for friends and family to transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens.
Consular services cannot:
- Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas;
- State to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent;
- Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in court overseas;
- Serve as official interpreters or translators; or
- Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas.