Breaking down barriers: the role of a prison visitors’ centre

Pugh, Jodie Monique (2014) Breaking down barriers: the role of a prison visitors’ centre. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This research project is concerned with investigating the role of a prison visitors’ centre in supporting prison visitors. The study conducted a literature review to see what the existing literature said about who the visitors are, what issues they are faced with when someone is imprisoned, and the characteristics of a ‘good’ visitors’ centre. The review found that literature described visitors as being either friends or family (including immediate and extended family members) of prisoners, with some prisoners holding both groups in equal importance. It also found that, although some friends and family may be grateful to have someone imprisoned for various reasons, the majority appear to be affected in several ways. This includes socially, economically and emotionally, with issues also arising through the visiting process as many do not know what to do when they arrive. The characteristics of a ‘good’ visitors’ centre were highlighted as being the provision of services which aim to cover both practical and emotional needs of visitors’.
    Following this, primary research was conducted at a male category B local prison using 9 visitors, 4 volunteers and 2 members of staff as participants. This research was conducted as the researcher was unable to find studies focusing on the views of these three groups which addresses their views of the visitors’ centre. Due to the large role that the centre appears to have within the criminal justice system, the researcher felt it was important to conduct such research. The findings showed that the participants appeared to support the existing literature to a degree. It also showed that the visitors’ centre appears to be successful but that improvements can still be made provided there is more funding in future. The study provides a recommendation for future research which is that a larger scale study be conducted using methods which allow the findings to be representative of the wider relevant population.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 08:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:44

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