Prison Sentences

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 5th March 2020.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) psychological and (b) financial support available to the families of prisoners serving IPP sentences.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Families and significant relationships can play an important role in supporting both men and women in custody and on release and reducing reoffending.

Prisons commission a range of family support services based on the needs of their local populations and their families and significant others.

HMPPS fund the Prisoner's Families Helpline to provide information, advice and guidance to the families of all prisoners irrespective of sentence or offence type. This may include signposting to other services available from public and voluntary sector organisations.

In addition specific guidance is being developed by HMPPS for the families and significant others of IPP prisoners that will help them to understand some of the key processes involved in progression, and how they can help.

The Help with Prison Visits Scheme (formerly known as Assisted Prison Visits Scheme) operated by HMPPS Family Services can help provide financial assistance for close relative, partners or sole visitor to visit people in prison. Support is based on the eligibility of the applicant not the sentence or offence type of the person they are visiting.

Family initiatives and schemes are routinely monitored and reviewed.

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