Standard 7 – Transitions from custody to life in the community
Prisoners are prepared for their successful return to the community.
The prison is active in supporting prisoners for returning successfully to their community at the conclusion of their sentence. The prison works with agencies in the community to ensure that resettlement plans are prepared, including specific plans for employment, training, education, healthcare, housing and financial management.
Overall Rating: Generally acceptable performance
Both short and long‑term prisoners benefited from easy access to a range of supports which assisted them in planning for release. There was a strong commitment to partnership working with a range of national and local support agencies facilitated to make regular use of the Librite Centre. Regular partnership meetings and a weekly pre‑release clinic helped co‑ordinate services, to avoid duplication as well as offering opportunities for last‑minute support and advice to prisoners who had chosen not to engage with agencies during their sentence. The Kiosk system promoted autonomy and enabled prisoners to effectively communicate with support agencies.
Constructive relationships between case managers, Prison and Community-based Social Workers, MAPPA co‑ordinators and Police Scotland Offender Management Unit (OMU) officers supported collaborative working in assessing the risk and needs of long‑term prisoners, and those individuals subject to MAPPA upon release. Notably, prison staff were successfully supporting increasing numbers of family members to participate in the Individual Case Management (ICM) process. An experienced senior manager with overall responsibility for partnership working, sentence and risk management was viewed as visible, approachable and a key source of support by both prison staff and partners.
HMP Addiewell did not operate a universal personal officer system. Each prisoner was allocated a case manager. A team of eight case managers covered the whole prisoner population (with two members of the team also holding responsibility for remand prisoners). While senior managers viewed this process as enabling greater consistency of approach it was noted that case managers held responsibility for very large numbers of prisoners, many of whom had complex and challenging risks and needs. Staff turnover and delays in filling vacancies within the team further limited their ability to build and sustain meaningful relationships with prisoners. The quality of ICM chairing was variable and a need for further training had been recognised by senior managers. The Case Management Team were responsible for chairing their own ICMs, which limited opportunities for constructive challenge and objective scrutiny of statutory community integration plans. Management should review this arrangement and introduce a system where the ICM chair can provide an independent perspective on the case.
Release plans were appropriately informed by the learning outcomes from programmes undertaken by prisoners during their sentence. The prison operated the usual range of interventions aimed at exploring general offending, substance misuse and violent behaviour. Helpfully, the Prison-based Social Work and Psychology service also worked in partnership to deliver bespoke 2:1 programmes as required. Men convicted of sexual offences were on the national waiting list for the Moving Forward: Making Changes Programme. Unlike their SPS counterparts, the prison did not have access to the national waiting list for programmes such as Constructs. This had implications for prisoners approaching crucial dates who could not be accommodated in the existing timetable of prison activities.
Committed and highly‑motivated senior officers with responsibility for the Librite Centre and release planning for short and long‑term prisoners made every effort to ensure continuity of, and access to, post release support. A full‑time housing officer was working to SHORE standards and assisting prisoners to secure and sustain tenancies. The Education Team were promoting opportunities for work, training and constructive activities in the community, while DWP staff offered daily support to remove barriers to accessing universal credit upon release. A range of community partners offered support to prisoners with substance misuse issues, including gate pick up. There were no Throughcare Support Officers offering a service in HMP Addiewell. In theory, the prison was able to access support from other prisons, however, in reality, this does not happen. There was a clear gap in the prison’s ability to offer intensive post release support, particularly to men over the age of 26 serving short sentences who may have previously struggled with resettlement and reintegration.