People often leave prison with underlying support needs. The period of transition from custody to community can often be extremely challenging, particularly for individuals lacking the right support to find a job or somewhere to live. So ex-offenders can find themselves homeless or back in prison.
We have developed services to integrate ex-offenders back into society by accessing education, training and work opportunities. Our specialist teams work with each individual to identify how they can fit back into their communities, including how they can give back positively.
The group-based community activities they are encouraged to undertake not only help each person re-integrate back into their community, but also give them the resilience of being supported by a group, making it more likely they will make a positive fresh start.
Our services include:
- Support to prevent re-offending including coordinating between a range of agencies.
- Helping people who have drug or alcohol rehab needs have a successful prison release via our Through the Gate service.
- Working with health professionals to address any mental health conditions.
- Managing money and accessing benefits.
- Operating a range of floating support and accommodation.
- Support in finding suitable accommodation, working towards independent living.
- Enjoying and achieving in activities and both paid and voluntary work.
- Partnering with other organisations to access services which build confidence and skills.
By working with prisoners in the run up to discharge, then prison-leavers post-discharge we help them access the right range of support to successfully move beyond offending behaviour patterns. Homelessness features in many people’s reoffending pathways. Ex-prisoners are more likely to struggle with finding accommodation.
Through our network of housing centres we are able to support people to move away from offending. Our prison-based housing advice service, where we work alongside prison accommodation and support services ensures a comprehensive package of support is in place before release. We are proud of our award winning services. Much of their success can be attributed to involvement of former offenders to develop those programmes. T
heir previous experience is invaluable when acting as mentors and buddies. Moving on from volunteering, many of our former customers are employed as part of our teams.
Through the Gate prison release and rehab service for prisoners who have alcohol and drug issues incorporates volunteers and mentors with offending backgrounds, to provide support. The interventions we make provide: savings on other public money budgets by:
- Offering alternative accommodation to an institutional settings
- Reducing reoffending rates
- Improving health and wellbeing
- The need for emergency accommodation
Riverside’s Programme of Support resettlement module offers an important resource in today’s tight housing rental market. Helping our teams with customers to identify the most appropriate housing options for them, while taking on board the challenges they have faced in the past.