HM Prison St Helena has recently introduced a new 'Email a Prisoner' service. The aim of the new service is to allow prisoners to stay connected with their families and friends, both on-Island and abroad, without having to pay phone call costs which can be high, especially if calling internationally. It is a method that has been introduced in some UK prisons.
HM Prison has set up an email account purely for this service, which is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The families and friends of a serving prisoner can send them an email to this address and can also attach pictures if they wish to do so. For safety, and the protection of the public, each email is read by the prisoner's personal officer to ensure that there are no breaches of security. The email content is then printed and passed on to the prisoner.
The prisoner can then either type, using the prison computer, or write out a response to the email. This is then passed to the personal officer who again reads it to ensure decency, security, and safety issues. If it is deemed to be ok, it is then scanned into the system and sent out to the family member or friend.
Prison Manager, Heidi Murray, said:
This service ensures that prisoners who do not have funds to use the phone, have families who maybe abroad, or have families that may not have easy access to a phone, can still stay in touch with each other. This ensures they maintain and strengthen family links, which is deemed essential for the successful rehabilitation of those in our care.
Source: St Helena Government