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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Families Outside delivers training package with session at Glasgow prison 


One of the aims was to understand the impact imprisonment has on the whole family in order to reduce stigma and social isolation

Over August and September, the training team at Families Outside delivered three of our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited training modules to professionals from a variety of sectors.

This was a great opportunity to share knowledge and best practice around three key topics:  

  • Understanding the issues for families affected by imprisonment, 
  • supporting children and young people who have a family member in prison 
  • and prison and prison visiting.

The aims for attendance at the modules were: 

  • to understand the impact imprisonment has on the whole family in order to reduce stigma and social isolation and 
  • improve the overall experience for families, including children and young people, navigating the criminal justice process from arrest to release. 

The first two modules were held online, with the third being delivered at Scotland’s largest prison, HMP Barlinnie, in Glasgow. Despite the usual worries we all have around tech issues, the online training ran smoothly and successfully. All those who gave feedback agreed that they came away with a better understanding of the issues families face and how to support them, and felt confident to provide this support. 

The third module was a great opportunity to finally meet everyone in person and hear from staff at HMP Barlinnie who work in various areas of the prison, including the Chaplaincy and the Link Centre, as well as staff from The Croft Visitors’ Centre (pictured above). Participants had to show ID to get past the secure line and were patted down before entering the visiting room. 

This was very fitting for a module on ‘prison and prison visiting’ as these are processes families experience every time they visit someone in prison. We received very positive feedback from all participants who expressed lots of thanks to the trainers, with one participant commenting: 

"This is the best training I have attended for a very long time. Apart from being well organised the content was really thought provoking. I’ve left with much to consider for our organisation".  

While the bulk of participants came from organisations in Glasgow, the training attracted participants from across Scotland.

The modules are aimed at all professionals whose role means they come into contact with families, and who feel that they would benefit from being able to better support families who are affected by imprisonment. Attendees included prison staff from HMP Barlinnie, education professionals, support workers, volunteers, and even NHS staff. One participant said that they "enjoyed hearing from other individuals from other organisations" and this was echoed by another who highlighted that "it was really interesting hearing from other participants who had different experiences and skill-sets from me. I really got a lot to go away and think about from the session".  

This was the second three module package Families Outside has delivered. The first package was run in April and May of this year, with the final session delivered at HMP Shotts in Lanarkshire. Though this was the first three module package, Families Outside has been running CPD accredited modules since 2020. These are often delivered online and available individually so those interested can sign up to one, two, or all three. From August 2022 to July 2023 training has been delivered to 149 attendees from across Scotland and further afield.  

Keep an eye on our training page for upcoming dates and developments and sign up to our mailing list to receive regular news and events, including about our training offering.  

Want to find out more about the issues faced by families affected by imprisonment? We have a library of resources available for families, professionals, or anyone with an interest in families affected by imprisonment. Alternatively, you can contact our helpline who can give you information, sign-post to resources, and who also provide year-round support to children and families. 

Jazmine Bennett is training and events coordinator for Families Outside.



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