The most recent unannounced HM Inspection of HMP/YOI Parc has been published. Despite the wider issues around safety and violence that afflict Parc, outcomes for prisoners in terms of both purposeful activity and resettlement were found to be good. Inspectors found the prison had placed offender management ‘at the heart of its work to reduce reoffending’ and there were examples of good practice such as the family interventions unit. Safe Ground’s Family Man and Fathers Inside programmes have been integral to the Invisible Walls project and a key component on the Family Intervention Unit (FIU) alongside a wide range of additional activities including; Barnardos, local Scouts and childrens’ service providers, parents’ support and family learning opportunities, homework clubs and cookery classes. Safe Ground is proud to be involved in a pioneering development and to have the confidence of the FIU senior leadership in our methodologies to contribute to this important work. Below are the highlights from the HM Inspection report, to read the report in full please click here.
Children, families and contact with the outside world
The prison worked with families to ensure they were involved in the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners. The approach was radical and innovative and probably the best we have seen in any prison. The prison had recently been awarded the ‘Investors in Families’ accredited chartermark – the only prison in the European Union to have received the award. (pg. 57 HMI report Dec 15-Jan 16)
T4 wing remained the family interventions unit, holding up to 60 prisoners, where prisoners could access a range of programmes and activities to support and develop their family relationships; partners and children were also encouraged to be part of this approach. Any prisoner could apply for a place on the unit, with priority to those felt most likely to benefit. (pg. 57 HMI report Dec 15-Jan 16)
T4 also incorporated the ‘Invisible walls’ project, a four-year initiative offering targeted help and support for 20 prisoners at a time in the last 12 months of their sentence and the first six months following release. The project focused on some of the most chaotic and problematic families, and was designed to break the cycle of intergenerational offending. Initial indications were that the work was having a substantial impact on reconviction rates. (pg. 57 HMI report Dec 15-Jan 16)
A prison analysis suggested that 69% of prisoners at Parc received regular visits compared with an average of 48% across the rest of England and Wales. The prison encouraged prisoner involvement in the lives of their children, and many parent/teacher meetings had been arranged at the prison. (pg. 57 HMI report Dec 15-Jan 16)
Keep your eyes peeled for a Safe Ground interview with Trustee and Head of Family Interventions Programmes, Corin Morgan-Armstrong, in a few weeks!
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