University lecturer Kerryn Palmer lives close to Arohata Women’s Prison in Wellington and sees it every day.
Now she’s going inside to record inmates reading stories for their children and grandchildren with a programme called Bedtime Stories.
Similar programmes are underway in other countries and Kiwi actor Miranda Harcourt first trialled it at Arohata back in 2014.
Now thanks to Kerryn the programme is up and running again.
With the help of a Boosted fundraising campaign Kerryn hopes to roll out Bedtime Stories to prisons all over the country – starting with the men’s facility Rimutaka Prison.
A team of three people visit the prison – two facilitators and a theatre technician.
It’s a low-pressure session but it can get quite emotional – both heartwarming and heartbreaking Kerryn says.
It only takes a couple of hours but it’s a huge thing for the family members and the children.
‘Kids put the stories over and over again.
They just want to hear their [mum’s or grandma’s] voice’.