One-on-one support achieves goals.
CLEAR CHOICES – St Helens, Merseyside
Our specialist employability advice and guidance support forms part of a local Integrated Offender Management (IOM) team whose aim is to jointly engage unemployed individuals who are Prolific & Priority Offenders to steer them away from crime, which is often linked to drugs/alcohol.
The Integrated management approach has been proven to be a vital way of working together, sharing information and addressing key issues which has led to offending behaviour. Weekly meetings are well attended by practitioners to offer input, addressing the 7 pathways and each individual agency/partner being able to offer their support, if right for the offender at that moment in time.
Women’s HUB –
Wednesday’s 10.00am – 12.00pm
and 1.00pm – 3.00pm
The ‘HUB’ offer’s the wider adult female community, who reside within St Helens, who are at risk of offending (supporting women and steer them away from entering the Criminal Justice System), are an ex/offender (move away from a lifestyle that may encourage re-offending), or have been a victim of an offender, a safe space to address social isolation & be encouraged to develop their creativity to express themselves through poetry, songs and artwork with our aim to create a weekly social group.
We encourage women who come to the HUB for support to find ways to participate and contribute. Women will learn new skills through taking on responsibilities within the HUB in a way that evolves over time. Some early roles will be in enhancing and maintaining a pleasant space and providing a friendly welcome to new women. All will have the common ingredients of building on existing skills, learning and trying new things and enabling women to enjoy a sense of achievement.
ADVICE & GUIDANCE SUPPORT FOR WOMEN
– St Helens, Merseyside
We have been supporting women offenders since 2008 across Merseyside and have a greater understanding of their complex needs, type of support they need & respond to and what works.
Our service users respond better when all their needs can be addressed using just the one service, offering a holistic, not time limited approach as our experience identifies that this client group’s needs (women offenders) are many and complex & cannot always be met within a short period of time.
We believe that with the right support positive changes can start to happen to individuals who engage with the projects. In taking this approach, we must first ensure that our clients are ready to move forward, by eliminating obstacles such as debt, substance misuse and mental health issues. We work in conjunction with our specialist local services referring our clients to appropriate agencies while supporting them throughout.
Our advice & guidance officers support our client group to positively disclose their criminal record when applying for employment, voluntary work, higher education and insurance. They will have a better understanding of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and ensure that they are disclosing the correct information in response to what is being asked and potentially challenging if they feel what is being asked of them is not acceptable under equal opportunities legislation.
“Most of the solutions to women’s offending lie in improved access to community based support services, including women’s centres. These enable women to address underlying problems which may lead to offending but which the criminal justice system cannot solve.”
“The impact of imprisonment on women, more than half of whom have themselves been victims of serious crime, is especially damaging and their outcomes are worse than men’s. Most women have neither a home nor a job to go to on release. Women are much more likely to be primary carers, with children far more directly affected by a prison sentence as a result. “
From the Prison Reform Trust briefing, 2017