The Farmer Review
This landmark review was commissioned by the Secretary of State as part of the Government's reform agenda.
This landmark review was commissioned by the Secretary of State as part of the Government's reform agenda to investigate how preserving and enhancing family ties throughout custody can reduce reoffending and 'assist in addressing the intergenerational transmission of crime.'
Evidence was gathered from numerous voluntary organisations, professional respondents and some 16 Prisons in England and Wales. The document acknowledges the good work already in Prisons but goes on to state: '... that family work has been characterised by unacceptable levels of inconsistency across the estate'. One way that the review recommends these inconsistencies could by overcome is for every Prison to have a 'local family offer' as part of its Performance Agreement with the Secretary of State.
This agreement would help to ensure a dependable and high quality approach to the following areas:
- Visitor centres and related services
- Staffing - to ensure family work is an operational priority
- Extended visits
- Family learning
- 'Gateway' communication system
To underscore this, Lord Farmer goes on to say: 'The importance of maintaining and developing family relationships must be explicitly stated as part of the proposed purpose of prison, to protect the agenda from being de-prioritised or dropped under future governments'
Read the full report here