A Bridgend-based scheme aimed at preventing current and released prisoners from re-offending has been awarded a grant of over £3 million. HMP and YOI Parc Prison runs the Invisible Walls project, which works with prisoners and their families during their sentence and subsequent release.
The money, from the Big Lottery Fund, will be spent over the next four years. It goes towards providing specialist parenting and relationship programmes, advice about debt, training and education, housing advice and support, physical health and fitness and job guidance.
30-year-old Gavin Williams, a former prisoner at Parc, had a history of drug taking and had spent 15 years in and out of custody. He entered the scheme after being jailed in July 2010, and was estranged from his family at the time. Gavin says he was given "a push in the right direction" by being encouraged to draw for his children as part of the programme.
The scheme helped get Gavin involved with the Prince’s Trust when he left the prison, which in turn enabled him to set himself up as a self-employed painter earlier this year.