Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Prison family service slashed after funding cuts

HMP Grampian
HMP Grampian

One area to be praised by inspectors was the prison’s family centre services – but yesterday it was revealed these have since been slashed due to funding cuts.

Chief inspector Wendy Sinclair said what was on offer at HMP Grampian families “stood out” and described them in her report as the “best I’ve ever seen”.

The centre is run by Action for Children. It gives families the chance to prepare for a visit – particularly if they have travelled from Elgin or Aberdeen to see a loved one – and there is a cafe and play area, with support and information available from a mix of staff, volunteers and a family contact officer.

But since the inspection in February, funding for the service has been cut.

It means the “example of best practice” was now no longer the case as the “valued” services are no longer fully operational.

Ms Sinclair expressed her disappointment in the services being more than halved.

She said: “This was a place for staff to go when they needed time for themselves as well as for the loved ones preparing to enter the prison.

“It was so good when we visited earlier this year that I’ve recommended they introduce it at HMP Polmont so it was awful to see it being cut.”

Acting prison governor Mike Hebden is hopeful that other financial support can be sought.

He said: “The centre was a great resource for us and one of the biggest things that we’ve found helps prisoners is keeping their family relationships.

“Funding came from various sources – the Scottish Government gave it out through contributions to the councils.

“Aberdeenshire Council are still providing some funds but in this time of austerity the city decided to use their funding elsewhere so we’re running at a reduced service.

“I believe those involved are currently looking for an alternative funding solution to bring the centre back fully.”

Last night, North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald called for funding to be found for the centre.

He said: “I visited the family centre at HMP Grampian, along with a mother and child visiting the child’s dad in jail. I saw for myself how much this helped keep dad in the family’s life and – just as importantly – keep the family in that young father’s life. The family centre helped give him a good reason to come out of prison and get his life back on the rails.

“This report shows what a difference the family centre makes to so many different people. If SNP ministers are serious about reducing re-offending, the single most useful thing they could do today is put the funds in place to allow the family centre in Peterhead to continue to do its job. Actions speak louder than words, and the excellence of the family centre at HMP Grampian is there for all to see.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]