The Scottish Government has agreed funding for the HMP Low Moss Public Social Partnership (PSP) which will significantly contribute to the costs of running the service over the next 3 years.
In April 2012, HMP Low Moss opened with the capacity to provide for 700 adult male convicted and remand prisoners. Purpose built with specific training facilities, Low Moss presents an opportunity to examine the nature of the traditional prisoner throughcare pathway and improve its effectiveness. The service aims to reduce reoffending and reconviction rates by supporting people to access services aimed at tackling the root causes of their offending and to increase their ability to contribute positively to society by enhancing their economic potential and improving their social integration.
This service will initially operate over three years and will be governed by a public social partnership consisting of several statutory agencies (North Strathclyde and Glasgow CJA’s, Scottish Prison Service, criminal justice social work teams, JobCentrePlus, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board, local authority housing departments, Strathclyde Police) and voluntary sector agencies (The Wise Group, SACRO, Families Outside, Action for Children and Turning Point Scotland). The five voluntary sector organisations represent a much wider cohort of approximately thirty third sector partners.
Martin Cawley, Chief Executive of Turning Point Scotland (who are the lead third sector partner) said:
“We welcome the commitment of funding from the Scottish Government and The Robertson Trust and look forward to develop this innovative service for prisoners at HMP Low Moss.
“This is first justice PSP in Scotland. It has been a rewarding piece of work to put the partnership together and jointly design the model of services with so many parties involved.
“We will start recruitment of a manager to lead this service immediately and hope to have the service fully operational by June.”
The PSP started with a meeting of key partners at HMP Low Moss in May 2012 and has progressed through a series of meetings, focus groups and workshops which resulted in an agreed service model being submitted for funding.
The core principle of the prisoner pathway is the timely delivery of individualised and responsive prisoner support before, during and after liberation. The nine offender outcomes have been identified as the main areas where people will need support:
Sustained or improved physical or mental wellbeing
Reduced or stabilised substance misuse
Reduced risk taking
Increased self sufficient living
Increased access to and sustained suitable accommodation
Offenders apply problem solving and anger management skills in everyday lives
Maintained or improved relationships with families, peers and community
Qualifications gained and new skills used/developed/practised
Practice elements include a dedicated throughcare worker for every short term prisoner, a single shared assessment and care plan, a holistic needs and risk assessment both in prison and in the community and better partnership working to manage prisoner transitional stages thereby making more efficient and effective use of resources and public funds.
The role and nature of community support services is crucial in supporting the prisoner throughcare pathway. It is anticipated that the PSP will achieve maximum levels of prisoner engagement. Mentors will be used to support prisoners to access the community services following their release and will be drawn from a multi-disciplinary team based in the prison Link Centre. The team will include workers from the voluntary sector and prison officers working very closely to ensure full integration.
The service will support prisoners for up to one year post release but it is anticipated that most will require a much shorter period of direct contact support. A final review will be held when the person is fully and independently engaging with community supports.
Michael Stoney, Governor of HMP Low Moss said:
“I am looking forward to working with Turning Point Scotland and the other partners both in the prison and outside. We welcome the opportunity to jointly design this service which I think fits very well with other initiatives we have in HMP Low Moss and with the prison regime in general.
“I am hopeful the prisoners will engage with the service and receive the right level of support to prevent them returning in the future.”
An initial three month ‘start up’ grant of £15,000 has been awarded to Turning Point Scotland by the Scottish Government with continued funding expected for 2014/15. The Robertson Trust recently agreed to fund part of the service and an application to the Big Lottery is also at an advanced stage.
Recruitment for the management team and project workers is likely to take place in February 2013. The team will consist of a manager, service coordinator and a number of throughcare workers. It is envisaged that many of the posts will be filled by secondees from participating agencies. This will ensure that the correct skills base is established in the team from the outset and should reduce the lead-in time. A project team has been set up to take forward this work.
Once the partnership manager is in post their contact details will be provided here for additional details. Newsletters will be sent on a regular basis.