Invisible Walls Wales
An innovative programme developed by G4S and Barnardo’s Cymru aims to reduce the number of prisoners reoffending, cut the risk of intergenerational offending and improve the quality of life and community inclusion for families.
Recognising that connections to family are an important element in the successful rehabilitation of offenders, the programme, initially developed and implemented at HM Prison Parc in South Wales, works with the families of prisoners who are experiencing difficulties. Each prisoner taking part in the programme is allocated a mentor, who also works together with the prisoner’s family, children, partners and parents, to help sustain and rebuild connections. The family will receive tailored support for up to a year prior to the prisoner’s release, and then for another six months following release.
During its first five years, Invisible Walls Wales has helped to:
1. Reduce unemployment rates for prisoners from 80% to 25% and for their family members reduced unemployment rates from 69% to 46%.
2. Increase prisoners’ engagement in education, training, or volunteering from 0% to 10% and for their family members, from 2% to 14%.
3. Decrease the number of prisoners’ children experiencing attainment or attendance issues at school from 43% to 12%.
4. Halve the number of prisoners’ children considered by social services to be “at risk”, from 16% to 7%.
5. Reduce the number of prisoners that were misusing alcohol and/or drugs from 89% to 20%, and for their family members reduce the number from 15% to 5%.
The success of the programme has led to the model being replicated in other prisons across the UK and overseas.
Further information is available at g4s.com/invisiblewalls