Children’s artwork installed at Visitors Reception in Maghaberry

On Wednesday 1st August and to coincide with World Play Day an event took place in Maghaberry’s Visitors Reception, involving children of prisoners that have been working on an art project.

At this event Spray Painted Art that had been created by the children of prisoners from both the SCOPE (Supporting Children of Prisoners) and CHIP (Children of Imprisoned Parents) projects were handed over by the children and staff from these NIACRO projects. The art itself was funded by the Ballygrainey Fund and Children in Need, the children were assisted in the creation of the bold pieces, by a company called Blaze FX.

This artwork is warmly welcomed to the Visitors Reception at Maghaberry and demonstrates the family focused approach we have towards reducing reoffending. Staff from the Visits group and the children worked closely together on this project, breaking down barriers and dispelling some myths about officers and prison life.

At the event the children from the NIACRO CHIP project met an officer from Maghaberry’s Dog Section with her dog Pip one of the Passive search dogs. The children enjoyed meeting Pip and asking questions.

CHIP is a NIACRO service that provides support to children aged 0-18, who have a parent or sibling currently in prison across Northern Ireland.

CHIP can offer various types of support including:

  • 1-1 Strengths based service tailored to each child’s individual needs 
  • Help to ensure positive engagement between children visiting custody and the person in prison
  • Be an on-going point of contact for families, particularly during key stages in the imprisonment (committal, sentencing, transferring prisons, preparing for parole/release).
  • Referrals on to other support services
  • Support to contribute to the personal development plan of the person in prison.
  • Help to encourage prison staff to have a more family focused approach & understand the needs of children and families.

Also in attendance were some of our partner agencies which include NIACRO, Barnardos and Peopleplus, as well as representatives from Children in Need, who fund the SCOPE project.