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Regional charity supporting prisoners’ families reviews progress over 2017/18

ByTina Young

Oct 14, 2018

A regional charity which supports families of prisoners held its annual general meeting last week (Thursday 8 November 2018) and presented its annual review publication for 2017/18.

Nepacs is a long standing charity which works across the north east region to help support a positive future for prisoners and their families. Its staff and volunteers provide much valued services to support friends and families of prisoners, in seven prison across the north east and within the community, including prison visitors’ centres, play areas, youth projects, family support and in the Teesside, Newcastle and Durham courts.

Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs, said: “We were delighted last year that Lord Farmer’s ground-breaking review published by the Ministry of Justice in August 2017 was emphatic about the significance of families as ‘the golden thread’ to achieve successful resettlement work and rehabilitation.

“Our services remain reliant on the passion, commitment and dedication of Nepacs’ staff and volunteers to sustain a positive experience for our visitors. It is that determination to stay true to our values that has seen us through, as well as continued investment in new work to broaden and sustain the range of services we provide for families or prisoners, including children.”

Some of the highlights of the year included:
– The expansion of the support at courts project, which offers support for defendant’s families throughout a court case and following sentencing, into Newcastle Crown Court. This means that support is now available from Nepacs’ volunteers at all three Crown Courts in the north east.
– Launch of the Hidden Voices arts-based toolkit which has been designed with prisoners’ children to help dads in prison reflect on the impact of their offending on their children at home and provide further incentive to give up on a life of crime
– The expansion of the Nepacs’ Heading Home programme into five prisons in the north east which supports prisoners and their families or friends prior to release from custody and helps them re-establish good communication with family members
– Accreditation of four of our family and parenting programmes (designed for prisoners/ex-offenders and their families) by OCN in November 2017.
A copy of Nepacs’ annual review 2017/18 is available on their website www.nepacs.co.uk