South East Wales

All fathers at Parc Prison to get parent evenings under plans

Prison visitor wristband Image copyright Parc Prison
Image caption Parc Prison houses approximately 1,336 male inmates

A prison in Bridgend is expanding a scheme which allows inmates to be kept up to date with their child's school progress.

The privately-run Parc Prison began hosting parent evenings in 2014.

Taking place six times a year, they allow fathers to sit with their child's teacher to discuss their schoolwork.

They are aimed at reducing reoffending and criminal lifestyles being passed on to children.

Corin Morgan-Armstrong, head of family intervention for G4S which runs the prison, said they identified "a need to reconnect fathers with their children" and began to develop relationships with schools.

The prison now has links to more than 50 schools in the Bridgend area.

Image caption Parc Prison is the only private prison in Wales

Mr Morgan-Armstrong said the schools "quickly saw the benefit that bringing these parent-teacher evenings into Parc and including the fathers could have for everyone involved."

"It's important to remember that 7% of all children in the UK will experience parental imprisonment before they leave school and 65% of boys with a father in prison will enter the criminal justice system.

"This needs to change."

The scheme is currently available to inmates on the family and military veteran units, but Mr Morgan-Armstrong said it would be expanding to include the whole prison population this year "due to the success".

The Right Reverend James Langstaff visited a parent evening at the prison as part of his role as Church of England Bishop for Prisons in England and Wales.

He said allowing prisoners to remain engaged with their child's education "has the potential to encourage reform and reduce re-offending".

"I am interested in the potential to replicate the HMP Parc model and am keen to encourage such initiatives where they may be possible," he added.

More on this story