From custody into the community

Interserve is recruiting more than a hundred people to join its probation services in a new role dedicated to supporting prisoners to stop re-offending.

The company runs five Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) that are responsible for delivering probation services to low and medium risk offenders.

Since the Government implemented Through the Gate in May 2015, CRCs took on the responsibility for ensuring people admitted to prison were assessed for accommodation, benefit and educational needs. The aim was that everyone due for release would have the right support package to help them hit the ground running.

Nationally Through the Gate has come in for criticism because of funding pressures and the difficulties involved in launching any scheme of this size, which considerably extended probation services.

To help improve the service, Interserve has worked with the Ministry of Justice and partner agencies to radically alter how the company’s Through the Gate model works.

The CRCs have already received 256 job applications for the position, which close on October 17th.

Nick Hawley, Interserve’s national lead for ITTG, said: “The revolving door of people being released from short custodial sentences to end up being back behind bars within a matter of weeks is a narrative familiar to everyone in the criminal justice service.

“TTG had laudable aims, but fell short of expectations for many reasons.

“I believe we are now putting in place an improved system that will support people during their first few hours and days post release, and that will lay the foundations for their successful re-integration into society.

“I am excited about the new roles which we are launching and strongly encourage anyone with an interest in supporting people to make positive changes to look at the jobs we have on offer.”

A new Integrated Through the Gate (ITTG) team will be based in each of the 18 prisons that operate across Interserve’s CRCs. The team will consist of the services already commissioned by Interserve that are working at the prisons – run by Catch22, Shelter and St Giles Trust – together with ITTG strategic managers and high intensity transition officers and case administrators.

During the last 12 weeks of a prisoner’s sentence, the ITTG team will ensure the individual’s resettlement needs are properly addressed.

Each prisoner will – with partnership support – develop their own resettlement plan. The plan will include objectives and hoped for results. It will be worked on by partner agencies both inside and outside of the prison walls. For service users with complex needs, it will also include community-based interventions undertaken by both the ITTG team and CRC staff.

Nick said: “The ITTG team will work collaboratively with other prison services and deliver interventions themselves to prepare people for a successful release that will reduce the likelihood of people committing more crime.”

The new high intensity transition role will involve case managers working with prolific offenders who lead chaotic lifestyles.

Nick said: “The high intensity case managers will own the individual’s case and be responsible for the coordination of the resettlement plan and transitioning the individual into their community, providing a level of continuity that previously hasn’t existed.

“Our model recognises that each of the 18 prisons we cover needs a bespoke service, one that recognises the complex patchwork of third sector and in-prison provision and strives to bring those links to life.

“ITTG will allow us to offer personalised support to people to help them stop re-offending.”

To look at the jobs on offer, click the following links:

Humberside, North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire CRC

West Yorkshire CRC

Merseyside CRC

Hampshire & the Isle of Wight CRC

Cheshire & Greater Manchester CRC