A FORUM for the families of prisoners concerned about a rise in prison violence is being held by a North-East charity.

Nepacs, which supports friends and families of prisoners in North-East prisons, is hosting the event on Wednesday, March 15.

Chief executive Helen Attewell said: "Following the press publicity about levels of violence and self-harm in our prisons, many of our visitors have experienced high levels of anxiety about their friends and relatives.

“The focus of the regional event will be on how we can make prisons safer – how do we ensure that prisons make best use of vital information from visitors who are concerned that a loved one in prison is vulnerable?”

She added: "Our annual Visitors’ Voice event is a great opportunity for people who have a friend or relative in prison to get together and speak to others in a similar situation."

There will also be an opportunity to talk to prison staff, a member of the prison chaplaincy and the Samaritans Listeners service and people can have a say on how services they receive could be improved.

The event is taking place at Bowburn Community Centre, in Bowburn, County Durham, between 10am and 2pm.

For more information about the event or to book a place please email training@nepacs.co.uk or telephone 0191 332 3810.