The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue September 2011
APF would like to thank the many prisoners who have volunteered to support the ‘Maintaining Family Contact’ campaign which will raise awareness about the fact that so many prisoners are located in prisons where visiting is difficult for family and friends because of remote locations, distance from home, lack of money to pay for travel, or physical incapacity. Members of the Women’s Institute (WI) will now visit 20 or so prisoners and record their journeys and visits to the prisons. Unfortunately not everyone who wrote letters to APF will receive a visit – as resources are limited. However, the details and information that we have received make an excellent evidence base with which to provide proof to policy makers (and others) about the difficulties that face prisoners and their families around visits.
Prisoners who would like to receive visits from local volunteers may want to contact an Official Prison Visitor. Ask your chaplain about this scheme which operates in most prisons. Alternatively, you could write to Jen Cohen, the Befriending Coordinator, at New Bridge, 27A Medway Street, London SW1P 2BD. New Bridge volunteers visit prisoners all over the country.
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