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The Croft (Visitors' Support and Advice Centre, HMP Barlinnie)

The Croft has been supporting people visiting HMP Barlinnie since 2012. Staff and volunteers are based in the Waiting Area of the prison before most visits to speak with visitors. You can also book a support chat at the prison or on the phone if you’d rather speak with someone one-to-one or contact us via the website and we can answer your questions via email.

Croft staff welcome visitors and support them to have a better visit, using an assertive outreach approach. This includes giving people information about visit procedures, how to claim travel expenses and what additional support that is available. Croft staff speak with a range of people at HMP Barlinnie, partners and parents of prisoners and also friends, siblings and other relatives.

In 2011, St. Enoch’s, Hogganfield church and other local churches and organisations came together due to their concern about the welfare of prisoners’ families in HMP Barlinnie, Glasgow. HMP Barlinnie is the largest prison in Scotland but had no Visitors’ Centre and there were no plans to develop one. The group was aware that a wide range of people visit Barlinnie, with a variety of potential needs and requirements, including visitors of all ages and those travelling from across Scotland and beyond.

In 2012, the Croft was set up as a Visitors’ Centre for HMP Barlinnie. Staff were based in St. Enoch’s, Hogganfield church hall, offering a drop in 2 afternoons per week. In 2013, The Croft developed to provide more of the service in the public areas of HMP Barlinnie, including a stall in the Atrium and the Family Information Hub in the prison Waiting Area and also added an evening support session. In 2014, The Croft constituted as a Scottish Charity Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) and became an independent charity.

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Support for Prison Visitors


Visiting prison can be difficult for anyone – particularly if you’ve never visited a prison at all before or have never visited a certain prison. If you are stressed or unsure about visiting HMP Barlinnie ...

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