Nacro has extensive experience of delivering advice and guidance within a prison environment as well as delivering successful resettlement outcomes. Adept at working across all the reoffending reduction pathways, we currently deliver interventions in relation to the accommodation, employment, training and education, and finance, benefits and debt pathways.
Our resettlement services in prison, young offender institutions and secure training centres offer through-the-gate provision for offenders upon release from prison, including those with substance misuse and mental health related problems. These services include ‘staying in touch’ programmes which teach individuals how to avoid being drawn into gangs and how to change behaviour patterns, as well as helping them to develop the skills, motivation and attitude they need to get into education, employment or training.
Our prisons work is underpinned by an established and experienced management structure, with staff based across 29 prison sites. We recognise that many people in custody have multiple needs which it is vital to address in order to minimise the risk of reoffending. We therefore take a co-ordinated approach, routinely liaising with offender supervisors, offender managers, YOT case managers/key workers, prison governors, substance misuse and healthcare teams to enable the delivery of a co-ordinated and joined-up service that will ensure the best possible outcome in each case.
Nacro also delivers ‘custody to community’ payment-by-results contracts. For example, we deliver a through-the-gate resettlement contract for 14-17 year olds in custody who are then resettled in one of 22 London boroughs. The contract delivers an individualised learning programme which raises young people’s aspirations, improves their skills and reduces reoffending, enabling individuals to make successful transitions into education, training or employment. Under this contract, an offender signs up to the service in custody, is met at the gate as they leave prison and receives expert help and guidance from community (resettlement) brokers and an individual mentor.
Courses and employment
Nacro also delivers a range of courses which equip offenders with the skills and knowledge they need to be able to live independent and productive lives in the community without reverting to crime. Information about courses offered can be found here.
The sense of purpose to be gained from employment often plays a key part in enabling an ex-offender to move on from crime for good. In HMYOI Glen Parva, Nacro’s employability practitioners have worked alongside prison managers and a locally based social enterprise to ensure that offenders suitable for release on temporary licence are able to take advantage of placement opportunities within the social enterprise during their sentence and to take advantage of paid employment opportunities following their release. In addition, Nacro’s Resettlement Advice Service routinely offers tailored careers guidance to individuals which takes into account any limitations on their career options created by their previous offending behaviour and the effect of the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, as well as delivering advice on how best to sort out any issues relating to finance, benefits and debt, both in prisons and in community settings.
Nacro also delivers a number of mentoring programmes that provide support before, during and after custody and a number of housing services for young offenders and young care leavers which offer information, advice, guidance and referral routes.
An example of our success in this area can be seen in our work in prisons in the West Midlands where at HMP Hewell, we have a 93% success rate of housing prisoners on release (against a target of 90%), at HMP Brinsford our success rate is 96% (against a target of 91%) and at Stoke Heath YOI we have a 100% success rate (against a target of 92%).
Continuity of Service
Finally, in response to benchmarking exercises and in order to meet the changing needs of prison sites whilst ensuring that outcomes for offenders are not compromised, Nacro has worked closely with prison and contract managers across the prison estate to adapt its working practices. For example, in prisons in the Midlands and East Anglia, Nacro has now taken on the role of completing referrals to accommodation and support services for those who would normally be living in the community on bail or on home detention curfew and who either don’t have a suitable address or need some additional support. Adopting this task as part of its routine workflow helps to ensure that offenders’ housing needs are met and that the service provided by Nacro adapts to meet the needs of the commissioner.