Resettlement Services for Eastwood Park Prison

Reducing Reoffending

A key objective of the Ministry of Justice Reducing reoffending strategy is that we will reduce re-offending and protect the public by breaking the cycle of re-offending through increased use of effective rehabilitation. Our work at HMP Eastwood Park is to also meet the Prison Service objective to reduce re-offending and protect the public by ensuring we have a range of effective interventions/activities, which can help offenders to reform their lives. High quality Offender Management, incorporating delivery of interventions/activities, lies at the heart of rehabilitation and social reintegration. We are responsive to changes in population needs and emerging understanding around what works in reducing reoffending with a very diverse offender population.

At HMP Eastwood Park, the Reducing Reoffending Strategy and its implementation have the full support of the Governor and Senior Management Team. Reducing Reoffending is our core business and we acknowledge our responsibility to contribute to the wider goals and targets, as specified in National Strategies/Priorities.

HMP Eastwood Park will strive to ensure the needs of our population are identified and appropriate interventions/activities put in place, to reduce the likelihood of further reoffending on release.

The identified nine ‘pathways’ will guide our direction and work.  These will be at the heart of our strategy.  On-going work with voluntary and community agencies will assist, support and make ‘end to end’ offender management a reality.

Pathways to reducing reoffending

  1. Accommodation
  2. Employment, training and education
  3. Health
  4. Drugs and alcohol
  5. Finance, benefit and debt
  6. Children and families
  7. Attitudes, thinking and behaviour
  8. Support for women who have been abused, raped or have experienced domestic violence
  9. Support for prisoners who have been involved in prostitution

Pathway 1 - Accommodation

HMP Eastwood Park faces significant challenges in relation to finding suitable, sustainable and safe accommodation for women prior to their release. The level of provision of homelessness services across Local Authorities in England and Wales differs greatly which means it is not always feasible or possible to find a stable Housing Solution for all homeless women

Our service delivery focuses on two key priorities.

  1. Maintaining  tenancies of those prisoners in stable accommodation where possible
  2. Homeless Advice and referrals - Providing an advice and signposting service for homeless prisoners either by liaising with Housing Options Depts. or making direct referrals to supported accommodation projects (where available)

Pathway 2 - Employment, training and education

Offender Learning and Skills is  embedded and the curriculum has been designed with a majority  of shorter  courses to enable women to complete courses whilst in custody taking into account the average length of stay at EWP is 60 days . Throughout  the   development  of the  curriculum  labour market information is used to inform this also the  curriculum so any  achievement  obtained  whilst in custody enhances employability .

Functional skills are a mandatory factor and women have to work towards a level 2 in English or Maths , other   educational  courses and  work placements  are  available  and are  detailed  below.

Educational courses

  • Becoming Victim Aware
  • Life Style
  • Cleaning
  • Office IT Skills
  • Nail Art and Make Up
  • English
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Maths
  • Cooking Skills
  • ESOL Beginners
  • Employability
  • ESO Improvers
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Creative Art
  • Soap Project
  • Manicure
  • Business Enterprise
  • Nutrition and Food Safety
  • Customer Service
  • Hospitality and Catering

Work placements

  • Kitchen
  • Orderlies: Reception, Chapel, Education, Library, Gym, Activities, Housing, Diversity and Safer Custody
  • Serveries
  • Cleaning
  • Gardens
  • Laundry
  • Waste Management & Recycling
  • Listeners (trained by Samaritans)
  • Turning Pages Mentors
  • Insiders

In addition, the National  Careers Service provides  relevant  up to  date   information of the  labour market and aims to provide information and advice on  realistic   employment  and  training opportunities  within the  community .The Library also offers a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, books for varying reading levels, and abilities, a large range of books in languages other than English,  legal reference books and other resources.

Pathway 3 - Health

The contracted  provider of health services within  Eastwood  Park is  “Inspire Better Health”  this umbrella provider incorporates  previous service  providers  and the services being   delivered  are as  documented include:

  • GP services
  • Nurse-Led Triage Clinics
  • Nurse Led Chronic Disease Management Clinics
  • Health Promotion Clinics
  • Primary Care Women’s Health Clinic
  • Podiatrist
  • Optician
  • Dentist
  • Hepatitis C Services
  • Midwife
  • Sonographer
  • Nurse Led Substance Misuse Clinics
  • Physiotherapist,
  • Pain Consultant clinics
  • Blood Borne Virus Clinics

The Mental Health team also provides every prisoner a mental health triage assessment on their mental health state and upon this assessment will sign post the offender to the most appropriate interventions.

Pathway 4 - Drugs and alcohol

HMP Eastwood Park is committed to reducing access to and demand for illegal substances and alcohol by offenders and young people. We have systems in place, which will identify, assess and support prisoners with substance misuse problems which recognise the specific needs of all groups. We aim to provide and develop constructive regimes that offer both opportunities to challenge and address substance misuse, to provide incentives to change behaviour and accept support.

We are also committed to building partnerships, working with the community and Criminal Justice services to ensure that progress made in custody can be sustained on release;

Pathway 5 - Finance, benefit and debt

Whilst offenders are at Eastwood Park we aim to give them the opportunity to develop their basic financial capability skills with the following aims:

  • To assist prisoners and their families to understand and address their personal debt problems
  • To give prisoners the opportunity to develop their basic financial literacy skills.
  • To help prisoners to claim appropriate benefits in custody and on release.

In  order to  deliver  this  pathway we  have  engaged  with Job centre  plus  to  give  advice  on  employment  and  benefits  and  the   Community  Rehabilitation Company  that deliver advice on:

Rent Arrears - Prisoners are offered advice and guidance with their rent arrears and councils are contacted and informed of the prisoner’s status.

Discharge Grants - Discharge grants are paid to eligible prisoners to ensure they have sufficient funds to meet their immediate needs on release.

Bank Accounts - Whilst  in  custody  offenders  who  do  not  have a  bank account  are   encouraged  to  open one and  in  order  to  facilitate  this   we  have well   established  link  with a  high street  bank.  This  is a much  needed  service  as due to the need  to  produce  ID  and  address  details many women are able to access this service in the  community .

Pathway 6 – Children and families

HMP Eastwood Park is committed to maintaining and strengthening ties between prisoners and their families. We understand and accept that imprisonment can have a traumatic effect on prisoners and their families. In recognition of this we will provide prisoners with opportunities to re-establish and maintain relationships with their children and families where appropriate.  We will provide facilities to allow visits to take place in a relaxed friendly environment.

Visits

  • A visitor’s drop-in Information Centre with the provision to hand in clothing and possessions for women. There is an assortment of information for families including support available from outside agencies, leaflets and specific information regarding visiting at Eastwood Park. SMPT have now begun visiting the Centre to give advice and guidance to family members regarding support services in relation to substance misuse. There are toilet facilities, vending machine and baby milk-warming facilities.
  • Visitors may request a further visit for a different day whilst at the establishment
  • Assisted Prison Visits Scheme provides help with travel expenses for prisoners close relatives, partners or sole carers who meet the qualifying rules on income. Information is available via posters, tape, CD and Braille
  • We facilitate inter-wing visits where families are in custody where it is appropriate
  • Accumulated Visits – an opportunity for women to apply to transfer temporarily to another establishment to have an extended period of visits.
  • An official Prison Visitors Scheme is run and facilitated via the Chaplaincy Department.
    *Final Contact Visits (adoption)

Children’s Visits/ Family Days

  • Eastwood Park enables mothers to have visits with their children outside the main visits times
  • Family Days are also provided on the Mother and Baby Unit via the application system, subject to risk assessment
  • Women can apply for Additional Family Visits (subject to risk assessment), which are held quarterly. These visits are themed
  • A small supervised (subject to staffing) play area is available in visits with a selection of toys, crafts and play bags available for children under the age of eight. New toys, activities and furniture have been purchased for the children’s play area.

Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT)

  • 4 X Full time Family Engagement Worker based at Eastwood Park (funded for 24 months)
  • Welsh ‘Connect’ project – 1 full time Family Engagement Worker and one Family Engagement Manager to work specifically with mothers returning to Wales
  • Resettlement worker for the South West working specifically with women returning to Bristol and offering ongoing support in the community.
  • Development of family support services and improvements in visiting facilities
  • Family liaison work
  • Arrange Family Days and events supporting maintaining family ties
  • Support women who are going through care proceedings, contact, visits with Social Services pre and post adoption work.
  • “Stories on CD” allowing women to record a story for their children.
    *Pact leaflets designed for prisoners and visitors (currently being printed), information includes pact workers details, Safer Custody Hotline, switchboard number etc. Available in  Visitors Information Centre, Visits and on residential units

PACT and Mother& Baby staff visit all new prisoners during their Induction period.

Family Solicitors see women on a one to one basis discussing and advising on child and family law. Free legal advice and can also represent the women at family court

Willow Tree Centre - Is able to provide support and counselling after loss of a baby and separation. Pact will refer women at their request. SWAN can provide this service for loss of or separation from an older child/children.

The Chaplaincy Department assist in maintaining day-to-day contact with prisoners and their families.

Email a Prisoner - Message will be reformatted by secure software and redirected to prison of choice. Printed email is placed in an envelope and delivered to the prisoner with daily correspondence.

Pets as Therapy visit the Mother & Baby Unit on a regular basis.

SAAFA work with the women and their families who have a connection to the Armed Forces.

FOPS – family support in Wales, provide stamped addressed envelopes for women.

Pathway 7- Attitudes, thinking and behaviour

The main focus for this pathway will include programmes/ activities, which aim to increase self- esteem, motivation, confidence etc. Eastwood Park has numerous interventions that contribute towards these from Physical Education to music activities. Working opportunities are being progressed as part of the prisoner works programme which will increase the opportunities for women to develop further thinking related work skills.

Through this pathway, women are encouraged to engage in activities and interventions, which aim to bring about changes to their behaviour.  This may be in the form of reducing self-harm or drug/alcohol misuse, enrolling for accredited offending behaviour programmes at other establishments or taking up opportunities for educational or therapeutic programmes.

Women’s Welsh SAR – October 2015 - Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Cymru is an overarching framework which helps local delivery partners to jointly develop strategies and interventions to reduce crime, reoffending and to tackle the social exclusions of offenders and their families

Victim Awareness - The Education department run a Becoming Victim Aware course for women referred from the OMU.

‘The Rubies’ (over 50’s group) offers a range of creative sessions and purposeful activity plus relevant advice and information, which we hope will develop new skills and strategies to bring about changes in attitude, behaviour and an enhancement of personal well-being.

Sycamore Tree - The Sycamore Tree programme is a Victim Awareness course based on the well-established principles of ‘Restorative Justice’. The programme enables learners to develop their understanding of the impact of crime on victims and community, their own responsibilities and offers the opportunity to prepare for resettlement.

“I am” Project - The 'I am' Project is an innovative approach to promoting positive and healthy relationships. The Project runs as a six to nine week creative arts based course designed to explore relationships in their widest context. The Project has been delivered in various settings with both young people and adults. The project is not about creating great pieces of art and theatre but about the transformative and educative power of the creative process.

Restore - Delivered by the Forgiveness Project, RESTORE is an intensive, group-based programme centred on the stories of victims and perpetrators of crime. Its overall aim is to contribute to the rehabilitation process for offenders, by preparing and supporting them emotionally to effect change in their lives both in the immediate and longer term.
‘Enriched Activity’ Day Centres (Stepping Stones) - Provide women who find it hard to cope with the normal prison regime an opportunity to spend the day (or part) in a centre where they can do a range of art and craft activities; group activities; which will help them stabilise and in time progress to normal regime activities – work; education.

Other interventions include – AA, One25, Willow Tree, PAT, Substance Misuse, Changing Tunes and Women’s Community Projects.

Pathway 8 - Support for women who have been abused, raped or have experienced domestic violence

76% of respondents to the establishment’s Reducing Reoffending Needs Analysis said they had been subjected to emotional or physical abuse and/or domestic violence, and just over half also said they had been subjected to sexual abuse.

Aim

It is often only once in a safe environment, and for many custody presents as such, that women feel able to disclose their abuse. However such a disclosure comes about, , it is important that we are able to respond with appropriate support, advice and guidance in order to empower our women to be able to make educated and informed choices about their futures and to help them cope with the effects that their past experiences have had on them whilst they are in custody.  To do this is our aim.

How this will be achieved:

  • The reducing reoffending team continues to develop a network of support organisations external to the establishment.
  • A multi-agency approach within the establishment, including discipline staff, healthcare and mental health, work with women on an individual basis according to their needs.
  • Regular resettlement Fairs are held at which women can approach community support agencies directly to make enquiries or request assistance or information.
  • Self-empowering support programmes, such as the Forgiveness project, will be offered when the funding and resources are available to do so.

Pathway 9 - Support for prisoners who have been involved in prostitution

The Reducing Reoffending Needs Analysis 22% said they had been involved in the sex working industry, 43% of these women stated that they were sex working to fund their drug or alcohol usage, and 47% due to financial pressures: this is similar to the previous needs  analysis  year and continues to highlight the need to provide all the support identified under Pathway 4, Drugs & Alcohol, above as well as under Pathway 3, Health, with 82% of respondents being keen to be offered the opportunity to be tested for sexually transmitted infections whilst in custody.

Aim

As with  Pathway 8 it is often only once in a different, and for some safe, environment, that women feel able to tell someone else about their involvement in prostitution. This is usually in the context of seeking advice or help and our aim is to build a comprehensive network of support agencies to which these women can be referred or signposted whilst also offering other related support such as sexual health screening.

How this will be achieved

  • The reducing reoffending team continues to develop a network of support organisations external to the establishment.
  • A multi-agency approach within the establishment, including discipline staff, healthcare and mental health, work with women on an individual basis according to their needs.
  • Regular resettlement Fairs are held at which women can approach community support agencies directly to make enquiries or request assistance or information.
  • Specialist support for sex workers whilst they are in custody will be provided by the voluntary sector, and facilitated by the establishment, as it is available.

Anawim Specialist support for sex workers returning to Birmingham
One25Ltd Support for Bristol Sex Workers
Street Life support for Welsh Sex Workers

The role of the Offender Management Unit

The Offender Management Unit at HMP Eastwood Park is responsible for risk assessment, risk management, Public Protection and Sentence Planning
The work of the OMU is wide ranging with two functions: ‘Custody’ and ‘Offender Management’.

The work of the Custody function includes sentence calculations, productions for Court, Observation, Categorisation and Assessment (OCA), transfers to other establishments, Court video link and the preparation of licences for final discharges.

The Offender Management element covers sentence planning, risk assessment & risk management, Offender Assessment System (OAsys), Basic Custody Screening Tool 1(BCST1), HDC and ROTL.

Public Protection underpins all the work of the department, but there are specific pieces of work required when prisoners are subject to restrictions relating to harassment or child protection issues. The Violent and Sex Offender Register (VISOR) is a tool used for some Multi Agency Public Protection (MAPPA) cases.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service

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