HMP Peterborough has introduced a new custody process to support male prisoners as they adjust to life in prison.

In partnership with staff and supporting agencies, the programme will see a team of carefully selected peer support prisoners, trained as ‘Insiders’ offering reassurance and advice.

Following Covid-19 procedures operating across the justice sector, Insiders will spend time with new arrivals, sharing their personal experience of prison life, allaying fears and settling offenders into their new surroundings.

Offering reassurance and advice, Insiders will help new prisoners understand how the prison works, what is expected of them and what to expect during their time in custody. When required, Insiders will also feed back to officers when new arrivals are struggling and require additional support.

David Smart, Acting Director of HMP Peterborough, said: “Supporting new arrivals as they adjust to prison life is key to helping them settle, regardless of their offence or length of sentence.

"Allowing prisoners to focus on their sentence can reduce the chances of further reoffending on release and providing Insider support means that there is always someone to talk to who understands the position they find themselves in.

We remain committed to investing in programmes that support the delivery of quality of life services within the justice sector.

One of the recruited Insiders at HMP Peterborough said: “I want to reassure new prisoners that it’s not the end, especially if it's their first time in prison.

“When you first come in, you're blinded by the experience, you don't know what to expect. Being able to talk to a fellow prisoner when you arrive helps you to settle down. I want to let people know that I'm here to help them."

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