How does it work?

The imprisoned parent/loved one applies to record a story. Once they've received an appointment, they will choose a book and will be recorded reading a story as Audio or Video.

The recording is downloaded onto a computer and sent to the Storybook Dads HQ and Editing Suite in HMP Channings Wood, where any mistakes are taken out and music and sound effects are added. When editing a story on video, pages from the books are scanned in and added so the finished story is a combination of the parent/loved one reading and the pages from the book.

The finished story is then uploaded to the Storybook Dads app or burnt onto a CD/DVD and posted to the child.

Who can take part?

As long as the imprisoned parent/loved one is allowed access to the child they want to do it for, then they can apply. Although the scheme is primarily for parents, most prisons allow other family members to participate including grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles.

How much does it cost?

In most prisons it is completely free. However, a small number of prisons may charge a small fee towards the cost of posting the disc. Participants can also choose to make a donation to Storybook Dads from their prison spends.

Which prisons offer Storybook Dads/Mums?

The scheme runs in approximately 100 prisons including women’s prisons and young offender institutes. The scheme also runs in some Secure Training Centres and Secure Hospitals. To see which prisons we currently operate in, click the button below:

Where we work

Why don't all prisons offer DVDs?

Approximately only 25 prisons currently offer stories on DVD, with a further 10 due to offer DVD soon. This is due to security guidelines at prison level. Below are a list of the prisons that offer DVDs:

HMP Askham Grange (coming soon) HMP Bedford HMP Brinsford
HMP Bronzefield HMP Bullingdon (coming soon) HMP Channings Wood
HMP Chelmsford HMP Coldingley HMP Dartmoor
HMP Downview HMP Drake Hall HMP East Sutton Park
HMP Eastwood Park (coming soon) HMP Erlestoke HMP Exeter
HMP Featherstone HMP Highpoint HMP Huntercombe
HMP Manchester HMP New Hall (coming soon) HMP Northumberland
HMP Norwich HMP Leeds HMP Lincoln
HMP Oakwood HMP Stafford HMP Stocken
HMP Stoke Heath HMP Styal (coming soon) HMP Sudbury
HMP Swinfen Hall HMP Thameside HMP Warren Hill
HMP Wayland (coming soon) HMP Wetherby HMP Winchester
  HMP Wymott  

Can poor or non-readers take part?

There’s no need non-readers or nervous readers to worry. The coordinators of the scheme are very sympathetic and will give any help that is required; from choosing the book to assisting with the reading. Our software enables us to edit the story so it sounds smooth and fluent. The audio clip below demonstrates how non-readers can take part:

Can stories be read in another language?

Due to prison security and restrictions, it is not always possible to accept stories in any language other than English or Welsh. However, if there is a staff member at the prison who can speak the language and check the recording for content, then it should be fine.

How does my partner/loved one apply to record a story?

If your partner wants to take part, they will have to apply themselves; the process can’t be started by you or by us. In most prisons, Storybook Dads/Mums runs from the Library. Your partner can ask at the Library about taking part or submit a General Application to the Library requesting to record a story.

Storybook Dads runs in over 100 prisons  - to see if it operates in the prison your loved one is in click here. If your prison is not on the list then unfortunately your loved one won’t be able to access the scheme. The prison may have other opportunities for strengthening family ties.