Norwich prisoners to be able to send video bedtime stories to their children

One of the wings of HMP Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith.

One of the wings of HMP Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith. - Credit: Archant © 2009

Children with dads at Norwich Prison will be able to see and hear them reading a bedtime story as part of a new project.

Having a parent in prison can have a big impact on children, and being able to maintain a positive relationship with their mum or dad in prison is vitally important for their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Recognising the role of these positive relationships in reducing offending, both by the parents on release from prison and by their children in later life, Norfolk PCC Lorne Green has been involved in the Storybook Mums/Dads project.

David Sparrow, 36, died in Norwich Prison in Knox Road. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norwich Prison - Credit: Archant © 2007

As part of the project, also being supported by Cambridgeshire's PCC Ray Bisby at HMP Peterborough, parents in prison can record bedtime stories and messages for their children.

Declan Moore, governor of HMP Norwich, said: "For many years, prisoners have been able to create audio recordings of themselves reading to their children.

"Now with the generosity of funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, we can enhance that connection by advancing into the world of video. That will allow the children to see their parent as they are listening to the story.

“The value of this is potentially inestimable. Thanks are due to PCC Lorne Green and to Spurgeon’s Family Services for joining the Prison Service in bringing this compassionate development to fruition.”

Norfolks newly-elected PCC, Lorne Green, highlighting the work of the voluntary sector as he is offi

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green - Credit: Steve Adams

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Mr Green said: "Children who experience parental imprisonment suffer a number of harms during 'normal' times but, in the challenging circumstances under which we are all currently living, those harms and difficulties can be amplified."

He added: "By helping to maintain and strengthen ties between parents in prison and their children, we can not only reduce the number of prisoners who reoffend, but also reduce the harm inflicted as a result of criminal behaviour.”

Sharon Berry, fonder and CEO of Storybook Dads, said: "Being able to film parents reading a story will make it even more special for the children.” 

A total of £1,050 will be split equally between Spurgeon’s Family Services at HMP Norwich and Sodexo which runs HMP Peterborough. Norfolk’s PCC’s contribution is £825, to purchase equipment to further enhance the existing Storybook Dads/ Mums provision at both HM Prisons.

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