In 2017 Lord Farmer published a landmark review which demonstrated the importance of good family relationships to prisoners’ rehabilitation. Research from the Ministry of Justice shows that reoffending rates are 39% lower for a prisoner who receives visits from a family member, compared to those who do not. The report centred on a simple principle of reform: ‘Relationships are fundamentally important if people are to change.’

Lord Farmer described the importance of family ties as a ‘golden thread’ which should be woven through all prison policy and practice. The Farmer Review concluded that:

‘Supportive relationships with family members and significant others give meaning and all important motivation to other strands of rehabilitation and resettlement activity.’

‘Family work should always be seen and referred to alongside [employment and education] as the third leg of the stool that brings stability and structure to prisoners’ lives.’

In order to raise awareness amongst prisoners’ families of the Farmer Review, and as a response its recommendations, POPS (Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group) asked children and their families from across the North-West to send us a postcard and tell us:

  • What they miss?
  • What family means to them?
  • What would be their one wish?

The families’ responses were woven into this short film entitled #WearetheGoldenThread to continue the cycle of awareness raising amongst professionals. The short film was launched at the ‘Keeping Children Connected’ conference on June 8th, 2018. The postcards were also displayed as part of the conference to encourage personal reflection on how we might all ‘Think Family, Build Family and Listen’.

Concept and Direction: Rebecca Cheung, POPS
Video Production: Northern Spark Productions https://northernsparkproductions.com/