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HMP Parc becomes first prison to be awarded Investor in Families Charter Mark

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Following an 18 month accreditation and submission process, HMP / YOI Parc in Bridgend, Wales, has been awarded the Investors in Families Charter Mark for its ground-breaking work to reduce reoffending among prisoners and their families through innovative educational methods.

The Investors in Families charter is an accreditation that is usually awarded to high performing schools and has never before been considered for the custodial environment. HMP/YOI Parc is the first, and currently only, prison in the UK to hold the standard.

The charter was awarded thanks to a host of family-oriented workshops and programme which are hosted at Parc prison, including Parc Supporting Families, and the more recent Invisible Walls Wales project which included the UK’s first families interventions unit for male prisoners back in 2010. A model that has since been replicated in other public and private prisons.

Family interventions support both prisoners who are willing to make a change and their families on the outside, with a focus on responsibility, self-betterment and the concept of the ‘family man’ at its core.  This model of family intervention work over the last eight years has enabled Parc to reach out and engage with hundreds of families in need, with a view to interrupting the trajectory that sees six out of ten boys with a convicted parent  end up in custody themselves. Through maintaining contact between prisoners and their families, the intervention unit and specialist visiting facilities has been shown to be a causal factor in 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.

Commenting on the charter award, G4S Prison Director Janet Wallsgrove said: “We’re very proud to receive the Charter for Families. Our job here at Parc is to help prisoners become better citizens when they leave than when they arrive. The Family Interventions Unit is a great model to help fathers to do that, at the same time as breaking the tragic cycle of offending which affects so many children with convicted parents. It’s testament to the hard work of my team that we’ve received this charter and I’m very proud that we have been recognised in this way.”