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Visitors to north east prisons invited to have their say on strengthening family ties

ByTina Young

Oct 7, 2020 #charity

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 well local prisons support family ties, and to work with the charity and local prisons to to make improvements for the future.

The Visitors’ Voice event will take place on Wednesday 13 March 2019 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 of England a ‘voice’ about how services they receive when visiting prison can be improved.

Helen Attewell, chief executive of Nepacs said: “Our visitors are ‘experts by experience’ and know better than anyone else what would make keeping in touch and visiting a prison less difficult. At Nepacs we have been working with local prisons to develop action plans to help strengthen family ties for their residents. We need help to think through what else could be done to improve support, particularly at the point at which someone first goes into custody.”

Helen added: “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 education, learning and skills teams within the prisons and help to shape future services to support prisoners and their families or friends during the early days in custody, which can be the most difficult and distressing time for everyone involved.”

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.