Since November 2015, prisoners at HMP Magilligan in Northern Ireland have been allowed access to Skype. The video calls are conducted in soundproof, secure booths monitored by video surveillance. This has been part of an initiative to help prisoners keep in contact with their family. Having access to the online service allowed for increased contact between imprisoned parents and their children. The Skype calls allow, when appropriate, increased contact at a reduced cost and with a greater degree of interaction between children and imprisoned parents than traditional phone calls.
This is also a welcome initiative because one of the difficulties with traditional phone calls is the cost to the prisoner, given the restrictions on a prisoners spending and earning capacities. When a Skype call is free or at a reduced cost, it allows for more contact.
For more information:
Tel: 0288 7776 3311
The positive impact of online initiatives allowing increased contact between imprisoned parents and their children in no way decreases the importance of maintaining or creating a connection and bond in person. These initiatives should be viewed as a way to supplement in-person visits, not to take their place.