Resettlement Services for Eastwood Park Prison
Research found that for most offenders a number of complex issues i.e. drug and alcohol misuse, financial exclusion, temporary accommodation, homelessness, chaotic lifestyle, separation from children and families, domestic violence and abuse were contributing factors to their re-offending.
The following nine pathways have been identified as factors which if addressed can contribute to the overall Prison Service aim of Reducing Re-offending.
Accommodation; Employment, Training and Education; Health; Drugs and Alcohol; Children and Families; Finance, Benefits and Debt; Attitudes, Thinking and Behaviour; Women Affected by Abuse and Violence; Women Involved in Prostitution.
The Interventions Team at Eastwood Park acknowledges that effective progress in reducing re-offending can only be made by joint working between key stakeholders including Education, Psychology, Offender Management, Health Services, Children and Family support as well as working with up to 40 Voluntary and Community Sector organisations meeting the complex and diverse needs of the population, offering a comprehensive range of resettlement provision to address individual needs of women.
Eastwood Park is indebted to our key partners who have brought with them their unique skills and invaluable experience. This enables a ‘joined up' partnership approach.
Women at Eastwood Park are encouraged to engage in activities and interventions which aim to bring about changes to their behaviour. This maybe in the form of reducing self harm or drug and alcohol misuse, taking up opportunities for educational or therapeutic programmes, parenting skills and enrolling on the Pre-release programme.
The Nine Pathways
Having accommodation and appropriate support helps offenders embark upon more stable lives and access to mainstream services.
Eastwood Park aims to provide housing advice in order to maximise retention of existing accommodation and to secure future accommodation for prisoners on release.
Employment, Training and Education
Offenders often lack the basic skills necessary to find and keep employment.
The aim is to deliver the highest possible quality of service that we can in all education, training and work areas (OLASS and non-OLASS) to meet the particular needs of both remand and sentenced prisoners.
A range of work and training opportunities are provided to assist prisoners in gaining work disciplines, knowledge and skills which improve their employability or potential for purposeful occupation on release.
Women receive advice and assistance on the retention of employment, training opportunities available through Job Centre Plus and appropriate steps towards securing employment.
People within the criminal justice system often experience significant problems in gaining access to adequate health and social care services.
We aim to provide a wide range of primary care health services to women and young people at Eastwood Park. We are continually developing and expanding these services to ensure that the level and standard of care is equivalent to that found within the community. We also aim to provide targeted specialist services where the need has been identified.
Drugs and Alcohol
Substance misuse is strongly associated with offending and is often one of a number of problems experienced by offenders and services in prisons need to take account of the continued interventions to address these complex needs.
Specialist staff at the establishment co-ordinate the substance misuse treatment of each client during their time in custody, and both on entry into and exit from custody. Providing a structured care package of psychosocial support for prisoners with drug problems with the aim of breaking the cycle of drug misuse and offending.
Finance, Benefit and Debt
Ex-offenders can face particular financial problems, including access to benefits.
We aim to give prisoners the opportunity to develop their basic financial literacy skills, to give them assistance in dealing with personal debt problems and help them to claim appropriate benefits in custody and on release.
Children and Families
Offenders' families can be affected by the offender's behaviour, and punishment, but can also be a source of support and stability.
HMP Eastwood Park is proactive in supporting families enabling prisoners to maintain close and meaningful relationships with family and friends. We have a number of agencies working at Eastwood Park providing a link between the women, their children and families and offer support to both sides. Helping develop family ties to help reduce the farm imprisonment can cause to all involved.
Attitudes, Thinking and Behaviour
This pathway sets out to identify and publicise interventions which have the aim of affecting re-offending rates through impacting on thinking and behaviour. As part of this, all newly proposed interventions are assessed to ensure that they have an evidence base for their claims that the intervention will change attitudes and thinking.
Through this pathway, women are encouraged to engage in activities and interventions which aim to bring about changes to their behaviour.
Short Duration Programme
The aim of the Short Duration Programme is to reduce re-offending and reduce substance misuse. The programme looks at harm minimisation, services available in prison and the community, relapse prevention, relationships, high risk situations and problem solving.
Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
ETS is an accredited offending behaviour programme. It aims to encourage women to develop skills such as problem solving, social perspective taking, moral reasoning and social skills. Although no longer running at HMP Eastwood Park, the ETS programme can still be accessed by women here, although this will require transferring to a different prison.
Stepping Stones is a day centre facility for prisoners who are struggling to cope with prison life, those with mental health issues or who are generally vulnerable.
The main aims of Carousel are to reduce self-harm, increase coping skills and self-esteem. Carousel is a rolling 8 weeks group-treatment-support programme for women with repetitive self-harm. Group therapy is combined with individual counselling, physical exercise, relaxation, educational activity and art therapy.
Anti-Social Behaviour Programme (ASBP)
The ASBP is designed to encourage prisoners who use bullying and other forms of anti-social behaviour to look at their behaviour and its effects on others. Exercises encourage them to think about how they can change this behaviour and what the benefits of this will be for them and others.
Healthy relationships, Stress Management and Personal Development
These are just three of the many courses run by the education department and form part of their Personal Health Education programme. They aim to explore aspects of healthy living, and promote social and life skills and increase self-esteem.
Support for women who have been abused, raped, and have experience domestic violence.
This is a relatively new Pathway which is in its early development stages.
Individual Psychological Intervention Clinical and Counselling Support.
The psychology department provide one to one psychology sessions for women affected by violence, including, Self-harm, Anxiety, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Poor adjustment to prisons, Domestic Violence and Sexual-abuse.
We have a voluntary organisation that also provide regular individual counselling at Eastwood Park for women who are survivors of sexual abuse.
Support for women who have been involved in prostitution.
This is a relatively new Pathway which is in its early development stages.
The aim of this pathway is to provide up to date advice for women in prison who work in the sex industry, sign posting them to appropriate support networks.
We have a number of agencies working at Eastwood Park who help vulnerable women wishing to move on with their lives, from lifestyles of sex work, drugs and other offending activities. Offering help and support for all issues relating to exiting and aftercare.
Resettlement- The Gateway Unit
We have a small designated resettlement unit at Eastwood Park which is specifically designed to enable and facilitate the resettlement of individual women (planning to resettle in the South West) in to the community.
Life on the unit is based on trust; all women located on the unit are nearing the end of their sentence and are either eligible for release on temporary licence or approaching eligibility date. We have a mix of women volunteering and working within the local area. All women undergo a robust risk assessment, and only those assessed as suitable for Temporary Release will be considered for placements. Release on Temporary licence is used appropriately for primary carers to keep in contact with their children and be present at important events.
The regime is geared to meet the needs of these prisoners and builds on the work done by at other Resettlement Units. The women are given support to reduce institutional dependence and are able to prepare for reintegration into the community. The aim of the unit is to assist women with re-establishing family and community links and with their reintegration into the community.
The prime role of the Offender Management Unit is to facilitate the delivery of the Offender Management Model in order to protect the public and reduce re-offending. The prisoner is central to the process. There should be continuity and consistency of approach throughout the sentence, whether in custody or in the community; “the seamless sentence”.
The Offender Manager, who is based in a Probation Team in the community, is the key figure in providing continuity and a stable working relationship with the offender; crucial to the ultimate changing of behaviour. Following evidence based assessment of risk and needs, the Offender Manager constructs a completely individual Sentence Plan for the offender, the implementation of which is central to the sentence.
The principal role of the Offender Supervisor based in the prison is to ensure that the Sentence Plan is being implemented on a day to day basis; they are the ‘human link' between the Offender Manager and the prisoner. The Offender Supervisors also contribute to the Risk Assessment processes of Release on Temporary Licence, Home Detention Curfew and (at present) Parole. The Offender Supervisor will broker access to Interventions in line with Sentence Planning Objectives and monitor access, attendance, achievement of goals etc.
Team work and multi-disciplinary working are essential to the successful delivery of the model.
Information, Advice and Guidance.
Eastwood Park has become the first female establishment to achieve Matrix accreditation for their Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) service.
The Matrix Standard is the unique quality framework for the effective delivery of information on, and advice or guidance with, learning and work. The IAG services at the prison “aim to help the prisoner make best use of the services available to support them in learning, work and other resettlement needs”.
The objectives of the IAG services are to provide information and advice which is right for the prisoner, at a time when they need it and in a way that suits them.
Quality and prisoner centred support will help us address many areas e.g. reducing re-offending, reducing self harm, meeting the diverse needs of the population and development of family links work etc.
A number of prisoner orderlies have been recruited to assist the teams in their work. The Orderlies have themselves come on a learning journey and are exemplars to other prisoners. A number of them have taken up IAG or counselling qualifications.
Orderlies have become the” champions of learning” and play a large part in helping to motivate other prisoners by encouraging them to use the Support Services to the full.