Ground-breaking work carried out by Gwalia the social housing and care support supplier, to reduce re-offending rates among male prisoners and their families has helped Parc Prison secure the ‘Investors in Families’ chartered mark.
The success of the ‘Invisible Walls Wales’ programme, organised by Gwalia in partnership with G4S, Bridgend County Borough Council, Barnardos and the Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice, was instrumental in helping HMP Parc in Bridgend become the only prison in the UK to receive the accreditation.
The award is usually given to high performing schools, but as a direct result of family workshops and intervention programmes, including Invisible Walls Wales, Parc has broken the tradition.
With support from Gwalia, Parc Prison has been leading by example, with other prisons replicating the Family Intervention Unit to address re-offending among male prisoners and their families.
Craig Smith, area manager for Invisible Walls Wales, was invited to the House of Lords with representatives of IWW partners to collect thofficer said: “When a loved one is jailed it has a massive effect on families. Research suggests that six out of 10 boys with a convicted parent are likely to end up in custody themselves.
“Invisible Walls Wales works with inmates and their families to repair, develop and maintain healthy relationships when they are in prison and when they return to the community.
“Through maintaining contact between prisoners and their families, the intervention unit and specialist visiting facilities are reducing the risk of the prisoners re-offending, reducing the risk of their children following in their footsteps and reducing social exclusion of families in their local community.”
The family intervention unit, developed as part of the Invisible Walls Wales project, delivers programmes for the whole family and offers advice on parenting issues, family debt, benefits, physical and mental health and support to access training and employment opportunities.
Director of housing and support, Andrew Vye, said the family intervention unit aims to help prisoners become better citizens and helps them focus on the concept of family and being a ‘family man’.
He said: “Gwalia are committed to working in partnership with a number of key agencies to enhance and maintain the lives of people and local communities. This award for Parc Prison is an example of how partnership services delivered by Gwalia are paying dividends and improving lives for the better.”
Source: GEM Staff Reporter. (2016). Family programme at Parc Prison is given official accolade. Available: http://goo.gl/RFJxWq. Last accessed 22nd Feb 2016.