My Mother visited me on Family Day. These are more relaxed and longer visits with activities to do (bingo and quizzes), and a buffet made by prisoners who work in the staff diner.
This is all good; however, the day was really brought down by a guy who attended from the Category A section. Imagine visiting a lived one and being told, without invitation whilst just being happy to spend time together, that they have been deemed so high a risk to the public/or others that they must be held in high security conditions enough to prevent escape, it really spoiled the atmosphere.
On top of that, they are now strip searching prisoners each time they use the toilet; in addition to the obligatory strip search at the end of the visit. I was strip searched 3 times in around 3 hours! But, here’s the illogical part; you are strip searched after you use the toilet. What do they think the prisoner is going to do? Pass drugs, mobile phones or other illicit items to their visitors? How will this stop the prisoner ingesting drugs in the toilet or secreting the illicit item in their ‘special place’? Who comes up with these procedures? It’s no wonder this prison has had some recent ‘spice’ related incidents.
Be happy, be safe (and in the interest of good taste I’ll refrain from ‘special place’ witticisms).
Graham Coutts, 26th March 2017