Through the Gate launches today

01 May 2015

Today (1st May 2015) we launched our new ‘Through the Gate’ service to people coming into custody. Through our partners, Shelter and The Via Partnership, we are providing high-quality resettlement services at HMP Haverigg in Cumbria, HMP Preston, HMP Kirkham and HMP Lancaster Farms.

The service has been specially designed to help people leaving prison settle back into the community, find accommodation and work, re-establish their relationships and stop re-offending. Support might include:

• help in finding suitable accommodation
• advice on managing money, benefits and debt
• help with getting ready for work and finding employment
• support for a sex workers
• support for victims of domestic abuse

For those starting a sentence from 1st May, the service begins as soon as they arrive in prison regardless of how long their sentence is or whether they are on remand. Each person is assessed within 72 hours of their arrival and a resettlement plan is created. At least 12 weeks before release, resettlement staff work with a prisoner to help them prepare for release.

In support of this new service HMPS have undergone a re-configuration of the prison estate which ultimately ensures prisoners spend the final months of their sentence at a resettlement prison which is in their home CRC area. This will result in connectivity to their home CRC and for Cumbria and Lancashire a consistent resettlement offer which is through the gate and into the community.

Phil O’Donnell, Head of Operations said: ‘This is the first time every person leaving prison will have access to support services to give them a better start after release. Through the Gate is an integral part of our work to help reduce reoffending and create a positive future.’

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