Resettlement of released prisoners

Resettlement is where prisoners and their families receive assistance and support from the Prisons and Probation Services, and voluntary agencies to help them prepare for life after prison. This includes advice about their entitlement to state benefits, training, education, work experience and preparation for release. The objective is to help prisoners return to normal life, get a job and home, and cope with life without re-offending. There are a number of initiatives that help us achieve this objective.

Prisoners preparing for release

A prisoner may be asked to attend groups or courses to help them with any behaviour problems they may have, such as alcohol or drug abuse, gambling, financial pressures, depression, aggression or lack of temper control, or sexual matters.

Pre-release courses

These courses help prisoners deal with the problems they may face after being released. These include help with housing, employment, benefits, health, drugs, alcohol and family. NACRO has a computer-based service (called RS Finder) that provides up-to-date information on housing, employment, training and education, benefits and money advice and counselling services.

Resettlement Prisons and units

These are designed to help prisoners, particularly those serving longer sentences, prepare for release. As part of the resettlement arrangements some prisoners are able to go out to training or work from the unit or prison and return when they have finished.

Community Work

Working for the local community is intended to give prisoners the chance to build self-confidence and at the same time develop a sense of social responsibility. The work can include local environment projects, work with the elderly or people with disabilities, sports activities and fund-raising.

Earned community visits

Some prisoners or young offenders may be eligible to apply for a community visit. Normally this will be on a monthly basis and the visit will be with family or friends in the locality of the prison.

Preparation for Employment and Job Clubs

Some prisons run their own job clubs in which advice and assistance are available to prisoners on how to look for jobs, including how to prepare a CV and interview technique.

Money and benefits

Advice and support is available to prisoners on financial matters during custody to assist in their resettlement after release.  Prisons work in partnership with Jobcentre Plus who are able to help prisoners with benefit claims such as Housing Benefit, and will advise on claiming benefits when released.  At discharge, prisoners may be eligible for money in addition to a discharge grant to help secure accommodation on release.

HM Prison Service

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