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Prisons chief opens Durham jail visitor centre
THE Chief Inspector of Prisons has opened a new visitor centre at a historic North-East jail.
Nick Hardwick opened the new facility, to be run by the prisoners’ charity Nepacs, at the 200-year-old Durham Prison, in Durham City, today (Friday, August 30).
Mr Hardwick said: “Families, and especially children, have a horrible time if they have a partner or parent in prison but they are also often the best source of the help and encouragement a prisoner needs to get through their sentence and avoid getting into further trouble after release.
“Nepacs and HMP Durham are to be congratulated on the development of this new visitor centre which will help families both with the practicalities of visits and with all the difficulties that having a loved one in prison brings.”
Nepacs chair Jim Black said: “We know how easy it is for prisoners to lose touch with their families, for relationships to break down and for children to become estranged from parents during a prison sentence.
“This inevitably makes resettlement back into the community much harder.
“I applaud HMP Durham’s investment in facilities for visitors at a time when budgets are extremely tight.”
Durham Prison governor Tim Allen said: “Visits are an important part of our mission to reduce crime in the future.
“I am pleased and proud that we have been able to work with Nepacs to provide a welcoming environment for families at the new centre and provide all the information that they need.”
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