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Visitors to North East prisons have their say on strengthening family ties

A NORTH East charity is inviting friends and families of prisoners in north east prisons to come along to an event in March to have their say on how family ties could be placed at the heart of prison reform in the north east.

The Visitors’ Voice event will take place on Tuesday, March 6 from 10am to 2pm at Bowburn Community Centre, Bowburn, County Durham, DH6 5AT. Free lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Nepacs, a long-standing charity in the North East of England which aims to support a positive future for prisoners and their families, has organised the annual event to give anyone currently visiting a prison in the North East a ‘voice’ about how services they receive when visiting prison can be improved.

Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs said: “In August last year the Ministry of Justice published a landmark review by Lord Michael Farmer in which he recommended that family ties should be a golden thread running through the new policy frameworks being put in place to reform prisons. I am pleased and proud that the work that charities such as Nepacs have developed over many decades to support family ties for people in prison, is recognised in this review as crucially important for rehabilitation and resettlement.

“In light of this review we want our Visitors Voice event to give families and friends of prisoners in the north east the chance to tell local prisons what would make the biggest difference to them in terms of helping to strengthen family ties.”

Helen added: “So, if you have a loved one in prison in the north east please come along to our Visitors’ Voice event. We want to find out what you think about the help and support you are receiving, and how we can make your visit experience better. There will also be an opportunity to talk to prison staff, hear from the Head of the Assisted Prison Visits Unit who provide help with visiting costs and to take part in a mental wellbeing session.”

For more information about the event or to book a place please email training@nepacs.co.uk or telephone 0191 332 3810. Alternatively, if you already go to a visitors’ centre in the North East you can book your place with the centre manager.

To find out more about the work of Nepacs, including how you can get involved or make a donation please visit www.nepacs.co.uk.

By admin