A rehabilitation co-ordinator working alongside PCC Stephen Bett to shape the support offered to ex-offenders in the county has spoken of how a co-ordinated, multi-agency approach is set to make a real difference in Norfolk.
Alison Campbell joined the PCC’s team as a consultant on a part-time basis with the aim of bringing partner agencies together to explore opportunities to improve offender management and reduce reoffending.
Last week, Alison welcomed a group of “engaged, committed and enthusiastic partners” to the inaugural meeting of Norfolk’s Rehabilitation Board, setting the way forward for offender management in the county.
“I am really pleased with how the first meeting went”, Alison said. “The partners have really embraced this subject, identifying where we need to take action and how we can make positive changes. What we have planned is going to make a real difference to offender rehabilitation in Norfolk.”
Initiatives receiving the full support of partners included:
- Delivering joined-up, consistent ‘through-the-gate’ support for offenders to prepare them for release from prison. Offenders will be offered support 12 weeks prior to their release, during release itself and four weeks post-release.
- Expanding an integrated approach to offender management to female offenders, delivering support pathways to help them move away from offending.
- Holding an event for employers, funders and trainers to put together employment opportunities and improve the work prospects of ex-offenders. This initiative is backed by Norman Lamb MP.
- Establishing a single complete health needs assessment for offenders, reducing duplication by putting in place a single set of questions to meet the needs of all relevant agencies.
- Producing a rehabilitation website to signpost ex-offenders to sources of help to change the things in their lives which might make them vulnerable to re-offending (i.e. lack of employment, homelessness, drug and alcohol use).