MSP for north east Scotland Lewis Macdonald visited the Aberdeen unit recently for a tour of the Virtual Visits facility. The videoconferencing facilities at Apex in Aberdeen have been linked up with HMP&YOI Grampian ; HMP Barlinnie ; HMP Perth; and YOI Polmont for friends and family of prisoners.
The Scottish Prison Service welcomed the MSP’s interest, and arranged a virtual visit to HMP Grampian’s Governor Jim Farish and Head of Operations Ian McGregor. Mr Macdonald was impressed with the high-spec equipment and praised Apex for the level of security while maintaining a family-friendly environment.
“Both the Scottish Prison Service and Apex Grampian are to be commended on their excellent partnership in developing the Virtual Visits project.
“It was wonderful to see this project in action, and I am sure it will make a huge difference to prisoners and their families in Aberdeen and across the North East.
“I have already had one glowing report from a constituent who has experienced a virtual visit with her son in HMYOI Polmont; she said the whole experience was more enjoyable than a normal prison visit, and that both of them were able to have a much more relaxed conversation than on her usual face-to-face visits.”
Photo: (l-r) Helen Chamier-Tripp (Apex); MSP Lewis MacDonald; Gayle Kaufmann (Apex); Stan McLeod (SPS)