A change in the online prison visits booking system

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My son is currently being held on remand in Brinsford Prison. He has never been in prison before and as a family we are devastated. 

Because he is on remand visits can only be booked a week in advance. So this usually means that I have to plan a week ahead. With working part time sometimes this can be challenging as I might have to change my rota. Luckily for me I have a very supportive manager. 

After spending up to 45 minutes waiting on the booking line I decided to try the online system. This shows you what days are available and asks you what your selection is. So I go ahead and try and book a weekend as that's usually when I am not at work. You then have to wait a couple of days for a response back. Every single time I have tried this method I get a response that tells me that day is not available. So then I have to go back onto the phone again!! When I finally get through I have to take the first date that is available which means sometimes  I have to go and ask my boss for that day off work. 

I then decided to email justice.gov yesterday to ask why is it that when I book online which is first thing in the morning I cannot get that date. The lady told me that it is not a live booking system. I was told simply to keep phoning the booking line. What if I couldn't do this or I had no money to call number? After trying all morning to get through on the phone and the phone line being engaged or dropping my call I was just exhausted. Not only do I have the stress of my son being locked up for something he's not been found gulity of I also have to deal with this frustating system. I am literally at my wits end. We as family's have done nothing wrong. All we are trying to do is keep contact with our loved ones. So why is this government making it so difficult when it's a known fact that this is why prisoners end up taking their own lives..because of lack of family contact. 

This government need to stop punishing the family and helping us by investing more money into the online system and the phone lines. With the amount of money they have to spend on these things this is just a small matter for them to deal with. 

I really hope that this petition will make a change and help some families out. The booking line is expensive to keep calling and the online system is out of date. 

Lets make a stand for all the families out there worried about their loved ones and keep the visits stress free. 



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