Any of HMP Edinburgh’s prisoners can use the independent advocacy service based in the prison.
What can we do?
Advocacy helps people have a stronger voice and a greater chance of influencing decisions about their lives. We start by listening to what you need and help you get information about your rights, so that you can weigh up the best options for you. We can help you express your views to the right services (at meetings or through letters). These services can either be inside the prison (e.g. Scottish Prison Service, Social Work, NHS) or on the outside (e.g. Law firms, Children & Families Social Work), anywhere in Scotland (and sometimes UK wide). We can help you understand the decisions made. People often value the fact that we are independent of other services.
How can you start to use our service?
Prisoners can refer themselves by filling out either AdvoCard’s or the Links Centre forms. Longer-term prisoners taking part in the Induction programme can find out about independent advocacy during a weekly awareness raising session and make appointments to discuss their advocacy needs.
Professionals can also refer by phone, email, in person or by using the PR2 database.
Family and friends are also welcome to refer to us.
We can then arrange a time, through prison officers, to come and meet in your hall.
Who are we?
An advocacy worker will be in the prison Monday-Friday. Peter Le Riche and Barbara Filipowicz both work part-time. There is scope for working with prisoners who have mental health problems who are resident in Edinburgh once they are liberated.
Where do we work?
We share office space in the Links Centre of The Hub with other voluntary sector agencies. They include services providing housing advice, benefits and debt advice, counselling, support services and addictions advice, so we are well placed to get their expertise to help you. The Health Centre and Social Work are also nearby.