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The Cambridges

Updated: Duchess of Cambridge visits addiction charity at Surrey women’s prison

The Duchess of Cambridge went to prison this morning to get a better understanding of the work that goes on to help prisoners with alcohol and drug addictions. Kate paid a secret visit to HMP Send to see the work of the Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust at first hand and said afterwards that she was encouraged by the level of support available to prisoners trying to overcome addictions.

The Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the women’s prison, in Surrey, this morning for a visit focused on learning how organisations support people living with substance misuse issues and understanding the impact of addiction on the prisoners’ families as well as hearing more about issues like mental illnesses that have had an impact on them in the past.

Kate met prisoners to hear how their addictions began and what role their dependence on drugs and alcohol had in the crimes that led to them being given custodial sentences. The Duchess also met ex-prisoners among them graduates of the programmes run at HMP Send by the Trust, which is known as RAPt.

Following the visit, Kate said: “I was reminded today how addictions lie at the heart of so many social issues and how substance misuse can play such destructive role in vulnerable people’s lives. I saw again today that a failure to intervene early in life to tackle mental health problems and other challenges can have profound consequences for people throughout their lives.”

The Duchess of Cambridge also paid tribute to those who had opened up about their experiences, adding “I am grateful to the women I met for sharing their difficult personal stories with me. It is encouraging to learn how organisations like RAPt are offering specialist support to help people break the cycle of addiction and look forward to a positive and crime-free life.”

RAPt currently runs a 12 step programme in HMP Send which is is tailored to support the needs of women with addiction and to help them build better relationships with their families that may have been badly damaged by substance abuse issues as well as crime. The Trust currently works in 26 prisons across the country including HMP Send.

One of the charities of which Kate is patron, Placed2Be, has worked closely with RAPt in the past and the duchess has shown her interest and support for organisations working with many different kinds of mental health issues on many occasions in the past.

Featured Photo Credit: Ricky Wilson via Flickr