Plans to transform a key area of HMP Leicester got underway last week, as DMU Interior Design students visited the prison as part of a live brief to redesign its reception and centre for those first entering the prison.
Colloquially known as the first night centre, the centre is one of the earliest experiences of the prison new residents receive and is where they spend their initial nights upon arrival.
This is the second set of Interior Design students to visit HMP Leicester, with last years cohort of third years successfully redesigning and reinvigorating the prison’s visitors’ room.
Jackie Adlum, Custodial Manager at HMP Leicester, is overseeing the renovation and said: “At the end of August my prayers were answered; a call to tell me we were joining forces with #DMUlocal again to redesign the reception and new first night centre.
“As I had been very much involved with the work last year to redesign our visitors’ room, I know what miracles can be achieved. I have seen what can be done and am extremely excited to be working together with DMU Interior Design students again to achieve this dream.”
#DMUlocal began working with HMP Leicester last year, when student volunteers helped create a communal garden in the prison for residents.
After the success of this, bold plans to use the skills and expertise of DMU students were put into place, focusing on improving the education, career prospects and environment of the men there.
Key to this was the redevelopment of the visitors’ room to raise the quality of family visits and help improve rehabilitation.
Harriet Calland, a third year Interior Design student, had her innovative concept brought to life to achieve this. She said: “It’s exciting to know it’ll be making a real difference to the people that will be using it.
“For families it will increase the welcoming atmosphere of the waiting room and help keep relationships strong.”
Now this success is set to be replicated with a brand new project to redevelop the prison’s reception and early days in custody centre.
This project is just one of a number taking place in HMP Leicester.