Visitors' Voice groups bring together families and loved ones of prisoners to have their say on how visits are run and how Nepacs and the prisons can improve the visit experience and support for families. These help in the running of our Visitors Centres and other support services.
The groups also provide an opportunity for loved ones of prisoners to support each other and talk about what has helped them to get through a prison sentence. Just having someone to talk to who knows what you are experiencing can really help make a difference.
We also aim to influence policy and practice on visits and resettlement. We would like the prison service to recognise the vital insight and support on rehabilitation provided by visitors. We also want to raise awareness with the wider public about the experience of prisoners' friends and families so that the shame and stigma that they sometimes feel is reduced.
Involvement of friends and families of prisoners at our annual visitors’ voice event (find out more HERE) and prison based visitors' voice groups (details below) have helped us to develop a range of new services and projects, including a Visitors’ Charter, a Visitors’ manifesto and information leaflets for visitors.
Come and join us - ask at your visitors' centre for more details or contact Alex O'Sullivan for more information.
Find out more about how to get involved here.
Virtual support and involvement groups for prisoners' families and loved ones
Friends and families of prisoners in north east prisons are invited to join upcoming virtual support and service user group meetings (called Visitors Voice), organised by Nepacs, taking place for each prison in the north east.
There will be one session per prison taking place via Zoom - lasting 1 hour in total.
The aim of the groups is to give anyone with a loved one in a north east prison a 'voice'. Anyone who attends will have the chance to:
- Share your experience of visiting prison, video calls or during lockdown
- Talk about the issues you face when your loved one is in prison
- Receive or give support to others
- Raise any concerns
- Offer suggestions on how the prison or Nepacs can improve support for families or friends
Details of the next meetings in 2021 are:
- Holme House – 14 April 10.30am BOOK HERE
- Deerbolt – 18 March 10.30am BOOK HERE
- Northumberland – 29 April 1.30pm BOOK HERE
- Kirklevington – 16 April 10.30am BOOK HERE
- Durham – 23 April 10.00am BOOK HERE
- Frankland - 26 March 11am BOOK HERE
- Regional event - for anyone with a loved one in any of our 7 north east prisons (those above and Low Newton) - 8 April 2021, 9.30am to 12noon (includes guest speakers from the prison health care teams and a free prize draw for any loved ones who attend) BOOK HERE
Come along to Nepacs' virtual Visitors Voice group meetings (via Zoom) and speak to others in a similar situation to you.
To find out more please ring the visits team for your local prison (details HERE) or call 0191 3757278.