HMP Addiewell has opened a new visitors' centre to provide visitors to the West Lothian prison with enhanced support and advice.

A refurbishment of the prison's visitors' waiting area, the new centre was opened in partnership with Scottish charity, Families Outside. Support was also received from The Tudor Trust, who part-funded the renovation and staffing of the area.

Tony Simpson, deputy director of HMP Addiewell, welcomed approximately 30 guests to the opening ceremony, which saw Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland, Brigadier Hugh Monro - an advocate of visitors' centres in prisons - officially open the centre. Other guests included employees from Families Outside, West Lothian Council Social Work, Sacro, Community Justice Authority, Circle, the Visiting Committee and HMP Addiewell staff.

The facility will be run by Janet Pringle and Stephanie Clark, both of Families Outside, who aim to fully enhance the visiting experience through a number of initiatives as the centre develops. These will include practical and emotional support, advocacy and contributing to prison policy and practice, in relation to children and families.

Addiewell Visitors Centre There will be age appropriate activities and information for children and young people visiting the prison, and regular information sessions, highlighting issues such as integrated case management and home detention curfews. This will provide a source of support to the families of people involved in the criminal justice system.

The centre also aims to mitigate the effects of imprisonment on children and families, and subsequently, to help reduce reoffending, by providing support and information to families and people working with those that are imprisoned.

Tony Simpson said: “The visitors' centre represents a number of things; the importance of partnerships; a vision to work together; and the ability to transform an existing facility into something that will truly benefit visitors to HMP Addiewell. We receive in the region of 4,000 visitors per month and the refurbishment of the visitors' centre is an important step in ensuring we provide an excellent service.”




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