VIP – Visiting in Prison

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VIP – Visiting in Prison

GrundtvigLearning Partnerships, 2006-2009

The VIP project resulted in publishing several books about, for and by inmates and their families. A moving collection of stories contributed to developing and improving educational programs in prisons.


Project coordinator / Project website

HMP Wolds, UK


Partner countries

Poland, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, UK


Target group

Inmates and their families



  • To publish a book for children visiting prison and for their families

  • To improve visiting system in prisons

  • To share good practice on family visits in prison

  • To create a network supporting partner organizations

  • To develop educational ideas and programs in prisons addressing the needs of inmates, their families and prison staff

  • To reach public opinion with information on life in prison and relevant issues


Project description 

The project built special links between prison enclaves and the rest of society. It addresses difficulties faced by families trying to maintain contact with their loved ones – the inmates. The project partners decided to focus on family visits in prison and to use literary work as a medium of communication and interaction between those isolated and their relatives. Several books were published in all partner languages, written by and for both inmates and their families, especially children. A great variety of stories, testimonies, poems and other forms of creative expression were collected and benefited prisoners and their families.

It’s five o’clock in the morning and I am already up. Today, at last, is the visit day. I am a bundle of nerves, I want the visit so much, but on the other hand I am so afraid what it is going to be like. It has been three months now since I last saw them. My wife and the daughter are supposed to come and see me at ten o’clock, so any moment now, I shall be taken by a guard to the visit room…  (“Behind the Prison Wall”- a story for older children published in Plock Penitentiary, Poland)

When we got inside the prison we had to go into the visitor’s centre. We had to tell the lady who worked there, daddy’s name, and we had come to see him. I told her that I had come to take him home with me. She told me I couldn’t but I still wanted to. Mummy put all our things into a locker and then we were taken to another place… (“Visiting Day” – a colouring book for children written by a dad who recorded his own three-year old son’s conversation about his first visit to the prison in HMP Wolds, UK). 


  1. Teresa

    4 September 2014

    Beautiful idea!
    I went through the website, but could not find the books. Have I missed any clicking to the right pages? Are they still available?

    • Teresa

      4 September 2014

      I think that in the UK there have been similar projects… I’ll find out…

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