Headlines: September 4th, 2003

Lack of contact with family members or the homelessness associated with being cut off from family ties on leaving prison is a factor leading to repeat offending. From today families and friends of prisoners will be able to take a virtual tour of a typical prison and get a better feel for what it is like ‘inside’. The aim of the website is to make prison life more understandable and less traumatic to ensure that family members know how to keep in touch with their loved ones, how to arrange visits and what happens when they arrive at prison on visits.The website uses pictures, sound and text to guide viewers through the physical environment of the prison and tries to answer the most likely questions of those facing a prison sentence or their family.

Phil Wheatley, Director General of the Prison Service said: “The families of prisoners can find the idea of a loved one serving a custodial sentence an intimidating and overwhelming experience, this site should help them to gain a better understanding and make it easier to maintain family links. This is one of the key factors in reducing re-offending”.

Link: http://www.cjsonline.org

Information provided by Horn Ltd, suppliers of specialist police information http://www.Horn.ltd.uk