Child-friendly visitors area for Invercargill Prison opens

16:00, Feb 28 2014

A child-friendly, low-security visitors area will open at the Invercargill Prison tomorrow.

The new area has been designed to engage fathers and their children in activities and conversation to help them maintain or build a bond.

Prison manager Stuart Davie said visiting areas could be barren spaces.

"It is often difficult to strike a balance between necessary security measures and the creation of space that is conducive to family interaction including the provision of activities for young children."

The visitors area would include books, toys, arts and crafts, and would be supervised by two Pillars co-ordinators every Sunday.

Pillars is a charity that advocates for the children of prisoners .

Pillars chief executive Verna McFelin said without intervention, children of prisoners were about seven times more likely to become prisoners than the children of non-prisoners.

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The Southland Times