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February 2005

Keeping in Touch: The Case for Family Support Work in Prison

This report reviews the extent and nature of the work of family contact development officers in Scottish prisons and looks at the benefits for prisoners’ families, prisoners, and the prisons themselves. It examines the difficulties posed by overcrowding, funding shortfalls, and limited support. It presents a clear case for the introduction of these officers in prisons in England and Wales and draws on research in Scotland that suggests that these posts work well if and when they are adequately resourced and properly integrated as an important part of the regime.