Prison, Homelessness, Prison – why the rotating door and what is being done about it? Paddy Richardson, Chief Executive, IASIO Jerry Williams, IASIO, Resettlement Support Worker, Castlerea & Loughan House Prisons Focus Ireland Conference, Aviva Stadium, 25th September 2015 Connecting People to Effect Positive Change IASIO STATISTICS • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Linkage Service Prison in-reach guidance and placement service , for all offender categories Funded by the Probation Service and operational since 2000 No. of persons referred = *17,335, No. of people reintegrated = 7,180 (*= 41,181 re-referrals of same persons) The Gate Service Prison based guidance and placement service for all offender categories Funded by the IPS and in operation since 2007 No. of persons referred = **4,491, No. of people reintegrated = 1,537 (**= 9379 re-referrals of same persons) The Resettlement Service Prison based resettlement support service for all offender categories Funded by the IPS and in operation since 2011 No. of persons referred = ***1,276, No. of people resettled = 351; (***= 2151 re-referrals of same persons) Resettlement & Reintegration Our primary objective is to add value to the work of the Probation Service and the Prison Service. In doing so, we engage with community based agencies and employers to try to ensure that rehabilitation and reintegration becomes the responsibility of the whole community and not just Criminal Justice agencies such as the Courts, Probation or Prison services. The Bridge to the Community Community Prison Training, Education, Employment; address barriers Linkage Service Gate Service Resettlement Service Training Education and Employment; promoting effective resettlement and addressing barriers Housing, welfare, addictions, family, effecting structured resettlement and addressing barriers Ideal Reintegration? Preparation * Early re-integration preparation with client and within a multi-d framework * Trusting relationships with key personnel * Clear definition of risks – to others, to one’s self, of re-offense for similar crime or different one * Clear assessment of relevant risk * Motivated and engaged client * Realistic resettlement & re-integration plans centred on prisoner, including family, * Sharing of plans between prison and community agencies * Practical arrangement made before release *release date set Resettlement * Clear Plan * Through-care resettlement support from prison to community * Supported access to essential services *On-going client contact with trusted CJ professional * Continuity of supervision and treatment, e.g. Probation and addictions * Access to family * Re-integration * Criminal Justice support of change & desistance * On-going access to welfare and housing * Education * Employment * Family * Addiction services * Lifestyle opportunities * Community engagement * Autonomy and independence Resettlement v Reintegration? There is no conflict whatever – reintegration is a process that must follow resettlement. In our understanding of what we mean by re-integration we believe that resettlement has to come first because; • Resettlement requires the client is housed with access to welfare and medical services but he or she could still remain isolated. (no social bonds) • Therefore and in our view, Reintegration means the above – access FIRSTLY to medical, housing and welfare services. And, ideally but not necessarily in the same order – social connections / social bonds are made. My colleague Jerry Williams will give you his perspective of the main issues for his clients……. Experience of a practitioner Jerry Williams IASIO Resettlement Service Castlerea and Loughan House Prisons. Practical examples of issues facing ex-prisoners Client A • 26 year-old • Served 5 years for manslaughter. • Returned to education up to and including Leaving Cert. • Unable to return to family home or locality as victim was a neighbour. • Applied for and accepted on Honours Degree course at ****I T • Application for Housing made to **** County Council. • Fully completed application form. • Local Connection qualified by copy of written offer of education. • Letters of support from myself and Probation service and official Certificate of Imprisonment” etc. Experience of a practitioner Jerry Williams IASIO Resettlement Service Castlerea and Loughan House Prisons. Recent Strategic Review of Penal Policy 16th September 2014 P.31: “For many repeat offenders, addiction, homelessness and other social difficulties are all too common factors in their offending behaviour”. P.65: “There is evidence of higher than normal mental health problems among female offenders, higher levels of addiction and homelessness and other significant vulnerabilities”. P.78 “Homelessness creates an enormous level of chaos in a person’s life. It exposes persons to risk and negative influences”………” the negative impact of homelessness cannot be underestimated. Releasing a person from prison who has no accommodation or, at best, inadequate temporary accommodation serves neither a rehabilitative purpose nor supports reintegration”…….. “For those under community supervision, homelessness impedes a person from maintaining contact with community supervision or treatment programmes, as the case may be”. . Achieving balance Agency cooperation Policy development Client work Balanced Reintegration Achieving Balance Client Work Effective service provision for engaged clients Agency Cooperation Establish if there a lead agency in each resettlement, e.g. as arising out of post release supervision orders or distinct medical or psychological needs Policy & Protocol Development Establish release policies at prison level that inform release protocols and practice, Desistance focused interventions for those disengaged but able Plan resettlement and reintegration within multi-d framework Identify needs and strengths as well as risks Encourage & motivate change Tailored interventions for those unable to fully engage Establish referral protocols with training, and education providers in the community Establish clear role boundaries between prison based agencies Ensure confidential review process among prison based agencies Establish referral protocols with essential service providers, e.g. housing, addiction etc. Build the community into the release plan early on, both family & services Imagine integration for each individual client Manage contacts with community based organisations Engage media outlets, in particular national broadcast agency around the representation of offender issues, e.g. RTE audience council. Summary • There is an obvious gap in service provision between prison and community based agencies, which must be navigated. • People who have served time in prison have a set of needs distinct from those who were never imprisoned. • The person working in the state Housing department, Welfare service, Health Services who is unlikely to have ever seen the inside of a prison, is also very unlikely to have ever been trained to understand the many issues facing people who have served time in prison and who now rely on them for their assistance and guideance. • Our prisoners are still our citizens and if we must treat all the citizens of our state equally as our customers then it is only right that all divisions or cross-functional state staff should be trained to understand their customer’s needs. • There is no single solution to reducing recidivistic behaviour – Housing is one essential part of the need for an overall multi-disciplinary response.