Charity Ormiston, which works with prisoners at HMP Whitemoor in March, backs Michael Gove’s removal of book ban

HMP Whitemoor

HMP Whitemoor - Credit: Archant

A charity which works with prisoners at HMP Whitemoor has welcomed the decision to overturn the ban allowing books to be sent directly to prisoners.

East of England charity Ormiston Families has been working with prisoners and their families to minimise the impact of imprisonment on their children since 2002.

Mark Heasman, chief executive of Ormiston Families, said: “The statements made by Justice Minister Michael Gove about recognising prisoners’ potential are hugely significant, and effectively give much needed public endorsement of the great work Ormiston Families delivers in 10 prisons across the East of England.

“Mr Gove seems to be looking at the benefits beyond the business case, important though that is, and his mention of redemption is very different to the language we are used to hearing about prisons and prisoners.

“Mr Gove’s additional announcement that up to 12 books can be retained by a prisoner in their cell opens the opportunity for prisoners’ children to send books that can be kept and cherished for the length of their prison stay, creating a further vital bond between parent and child.

“Ormiston Families has worked with prisoners through some very difficult periods of public and political antipathy, but believe that Mr Gove’s overturning of the rules relating to books could herald the start of an approach that is more humane and more effective, for prisoners, their families and communities.”

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