Meet Amy Frost: The Governor of HMP Send Who Wants to Make a Difference
Amy Frost is the newly appointed Governor of HMP Send, a women’s prison in Surrey. She has been working in the prison service for 11 years, and has a passion for improving the lives of women in custody. In this article, we will learn more about her background, her goals, and her challenges as a prison governor.
From policy-making to prison management
Amy Frost started her career in the civil service, working on policy-making and legislation in Northern Ireland. She was fascinated by the prison system, and decided to join the fast-track programme for prison officers. She spent six months as an officer, and then moved into a management role. She worked in various prisons, including HMP Holloway, the largest women’s prison in Europe before it closed in 2016.
“I wanted to do something where I was having a real-life impact. As a prison governor, there is potential to make decisions and positively change things,” she says.
Working with women
Amy Frost enjoyed working with women at Holloway, and was impressed by the sense of community and collaboration among staff and organisations. She also appreciated the feedback and ideas from the women themselves, who were keen to share their thoughts on what was working and what wasn’t.
“One thing I particularly enjoy about working with women is their feedback. Women have always been keen to share their thoughts about whatâs working and what isnât, and theyâve got lots of ideas on how to make things better. This motivates me to make those ideas happen, and itâs whatâs made me want to work in the womenâs estate,” she says.
Responding to the pandemic
Amy Frost took up her post as Governor of HMP Send in September 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. She faced the challenge of balancing the safety and wellbeing of the women and staff, while maintaining some level of normality and activity. She praises the women for their resilience and adaptability during this difficult time.
“This is a really bizarre time, particularly for a place like Send that has a reputation for contributing to the community and enabling women to progress with their sentences. People have had to make enormous adjustments and I think the women have done brilliantly given the huge changes,” she says.
Amy Frost’s main priority for the year ahead is to safely and compassionately respond to the coronavirus crisis, and to resume activities and courses as soon as possible. She also hopes to build on the strengths of HMP Send, such as its education provision, its family support services, and its links with external organisations. She wants to create a positive environment where women can learn new skills, access opportunities, and prepare for their release.
“My real hope is to get activities up and running as soon as possible; weâre already starting some group work, which is promising. I want to make sure that women have access to education, employment, health care, family contact, and anything else that will help them with their rehabilitation,” she says.
Amy Frost is an inspiring example of a woman who is passionate about her work and who wants to make a difference. She is committed to improving the lives of women in prison, and to supporting them in their journey towards a better future.