Carl Sargeant, has visited the Invisible Walls Wales project at Parc Prison, Bridgend to see the impact it is having on its participants.
The project aims to prevent prisoners from reoffending by helping them strengthen family ties and maintain healthy family relationships as well as providing them with advice on issues such as debt, housing, training and moving towards employment.
Support services are provided to prisoners and their families by Family Intervention workers based inside the prison and teams based out in the community.
Support is delivered to the offender and their family for 12 months prior to release from prison and for a period of up to 6 months following release back into the community.
Following his visit to the project Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant said:
“I am pleased to see the positive effect this project is having on prisoners and their families. Evidence shows that substantial reduction in the numbers of offenders misusing substances when they leave prison as well as many of them finding employment and living in improved accommodation.
"Working with the whole family unit is a highly effective way of reducing reoffending. It also delivers better outcomes for children who are most in need as they struggle to overcome the difficulties they face when a parent is sent to prison.”