The Duchess of Cambridge has visited a women's prison in Surrey to raise awareness of the work being done to assist prisoners addicted to alcohol & drugs.
Kate spent around an hour at HMP Send meeting inmates & ex-offenders who have all been helped by the Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt) , which operates in 26 prisons across the country.
The charity has been running a dedicated drug & alcohol treatment unit since 2000 at theÂ closed Female Training & Resettlement Prison, which has space for 20 women prisoners.
The 12-step programme is the only one of its kind in the country for female inmates, & works with women to assist them beat their addiction & build better relationships with their families.
Former heroin & crack addict Kirsty, who has been "clean" for eight years, met the Duchess & told her how her parents had been drug users & drugs had been an everyday part of her family life.Â
The 36-year-old spoke approximately the Duchess' reaction to her story: "She was saddened probably, anybody would be, it's not nice for anybody to hear that anybody was in that situation.
"I think what it moreover does is it creates some understanding, it gives a backdrop. Because you know, sometimes the way that addicts live their lifestyles we're not the greatest advertisement for humanity are we?
"And so sometimes to hear there's a potential reason, that it isn't just that we woke up one day & decided to test our families' lives & create absolute chaos in communities, there were reasons – some acceptable, some not – yet there were reasons."
According to RAPt, over two thirds of those who have completed the programme are still drug & alcohol free three months after release from prison.
The Duchess' visit is the latest engagement reflecting her interest in issues surrounding addiction & the work being done by charities to assist vulnerable individuals & families.
She is moreover patron of addiction charity Action on Addiction.
Source: “Sky News”