How Family Support Workers can help HMIP processes
Why the Inspectorate welcomes the views of Family Support Staff
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales (HMIP) is an independent body which provides both scrutiny and written reports on the treatment and condition of prisoners.
Part of the inspection process is to examine how a prison supports prisoners’ contact with their families and friends. In particular: ‘Prisoners and their visitors are able to attend visits in a clean, safe and respectful environment which meets their needs.’ (from the HMIP ‘Expectations’ document)
Angus Mulready-Jones, the lead inspector for children in detention has told NICCO how important the views and experiences of family support workers are when compiling their reports. He said:
‘Engagement with a wide range of agencies is a key part of the inspection regime and we encourage organisations providing family services to make contact with the inspection team. On every prison inspection HMIP have an inspector looking at the children and families pathway. Family service providers are welcome to contact the inspection team directly (we are usually based in the boardroom), call or email our office or contact the prisons inspection liaison officer.’
He was keen to explain that because the inspectors were normally only on site for two or three days, they may not have the opportunity to talk with all staff during that time, but inspectors are happy to receive calls or emails from staff who wish to make a contribution.