FIRST Centre: Visits Feedback 2016/17

Call us on 01522 806611 or e-mail us at hello@LATcharity.org.uk

At Lincolnshire Action Trust, feedback from all the people we work alongside and offer support to is really important.

We already know from previous experiences, and from research, that having a family member or friend in prison is particularly challenging, and visiting the prison can help these challenges, or can sometimes make things more difficult.

Previous research has shown that families can suffer financial difficulties, accommodation changes, health issues, isolation and stigmatisation.  Challenges can include how to tell children and other family members what has happened.   Difficulties in booking and coming to visits can make any problems a family is already experiencing even worse.  However, keeping in contact with family outside has been shown to help people in prison to better cope with their time inside and can help them to resettle after prison and to not reoffend.

Our FIRST Centre staff offer support to people visiting HMP Lincoln. In 2016/7 we asked visitors to HMP Lincoln for their feedback, this is what we found . . .

General information

  • Lots of different relatives come to visit. Most common visits are from partners/wives, but parents, siblings, children and friends also visit often.
  • Over 1/3 of people visiting HMP Lincoln travel from outside Lincolnshire and the average time to get to the prison was approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Most people book using the online booking service, followed by the visits booking phone line.

Advice

People told us they wanted advice about:

  • How to get to the prison
  • What to expect
  • What to bring
  • What to tell children
  • What to do if there's a problem
  • What to take into visits
  • What is and is not allowed
  • Ways to keep in contact with someone in prison
  • Work and training

Keeping in Contact

These are the different ways people told us they keep in contact with people in prison:

  • Letters (79%)
  • Phone calls (71%)
  • Email a Prisoner (53%)
  • Prison Voicemail (3%)

Impact of Prison

This is how people told us they felt when they found out their family member/friend was in prison:

People told us that having a friend/family member in prison affected them in the following ways:

  • Made my physical health worse (68%)
  • Made my mental health worse (67%)
  • Made me suffer financially (67%)
  • Affected my relationships with other family members (53%)
  • Affected me work/training (38%)
  • Made my housing situation worse (41%)
  • Had a bad effect on my children (50%)
  • Not affected me in a bad way at all (23%)

How do people feel when visiting the prison

  • 54% found booking visits easy
  • 69% found visiting the prison easy
  • 47% felt comfortable visiting the prison
  • 59% said they looked forward to visiting the prison
  • 91% said they felt better after visiting the prison

FIRST Centre Support

This is what people said about the support offered to them by the FIRST Centre:

  • 100% said the staff are friendly
  • 94% said they found FIRST staff knowledgeable
  • 94% said that FIRST staff answered their questions
  • 100% said that FIRST staff are professional
  • 100% said they can approach FIRST staff with any questions
  • 92% said FIRST staff had provided emotional support
  • 100% said that FIRST staff offered practical advice
  • 97% said they felt FIRST meet the needs of those who come and visit the prison
  • 100% said FIRST staff made their experience of prison better
  • 100% said FIRST staff had helped them maintain a positive relationship with a person in prison
  • 100% said FIRST staff had reduced feelings of anxiety
  • 100% said FIRST staff told them about ways to keep in touch with someone in prison
  • 100% said FIRST staff increased the likelihood that a visit would go smoothly
  • 100% said FIRST staff had made them feel better about themselves
  • 94% said FIRST staff had helped reduce the financial impact of visits
  • 70% said FIRST staff had helped them access other agencies for support.

How do people feel when visiting the prison

  • 54% found booking visits easy
  • 69% found visiting the prison easy
  • 47% felt comfortable visiting the prison
  • 59% said they looked forward to visiting the prison
  • 91% said they felt better after visiting the prison

FIRST Centre Support

This is what people said about the support offered to them by the FIRST Centre:

  • 100% said the staff are friendly
  • 94% said they found FIRST staff knowledgeable
  • 94% said that FIRST staff answered their questions
  • 100% said that FIRST staff are professional
  • 100% said they can approach FIRST staff with any questions
  • 92% said FIRST staff had provided emotional support
  • 100% said that FIRST staff offered practical advice
  • 97% said they felt FIRST meet the needs of those who come and visit the prison
  • 100% said FIRST staff made their experience of prison better
  • 100% said FIRST staff had helped them maintain a positive relationship with a person in prison
  • 100% said FIRST staff had reduced feelings of anxiety
  • 100% said FIRST staff told them about ways to keep in touch with someone in prison
  • 100% said FIRST staff increased the likelihood that a visit would go smoothly
  • 100% said FIRST staff had made them feel better about themselves
  • 94% said FIRST staff had helped reduce the financial impact of visits
  • 70% said FIRST staff had helped them access other agencies for support.

 

LAT's FIRST Centre staff are available to support people who have friends/family members at HMP Lincoln before, during and after visits, over the telephone or in person. We can also support you by phone, even if you are not visiting.  Prison affects everyone differently and we can provide advice and support on all of the areas above. Please contact us on 01522 663355, first@latcharity.org.uk, find us on Facebook ‘The FIRST Centre’ or speak to our staff who can be identified by their purple tops during visits.

 

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