Scheme cuts reoffending by people with mental health problems

A Revolving Doors Agency rehabilitative scheme has reduced
reconviction rates among people caught up in the criminal justice
system with mental health problems by 22 per cent, and reduced the
seriousness of the offences committed, according to an independent
home office evaluation, writes Clare

The ‘link worker’ scheme aims to provide support to individuals
with mental health problems who have been in contact with the
criminal justice system, and put this group in touch with
mainstream services where appropriate.

“Poor housing, unemployment, substance misuse, mental
illness and problems with relationships are among the chief causes
of re-offending by ex-prisoners,” warns a report about
findings from the scheme published this week.

It highlights that 99 per cent of people referred to Revolving
Doors, which specialises in working with offenders with mental
health problems, were unemployed and 23 per cent were sleeping
rough, resulting in a higher risk of re-offending.

“In spite of these great needs, 93 per cent of these
clients were not in contact with any services at all when they were
referred to us,” the report said.

The report calls for more accommodation for people with multiple
needs who have a criminal record as “while housing does not
guarantee that someone will never re-offend, it does reduce the

The agency also urges an increase in the amount of treatment
available to vulnerable prisoners who are being released into the
community having completed a drug detox, with a simplification of
the benefits system as it currently prevents vulnerable people from
making successful claims.

Prisons minister Paul Goggins, who is due to attend the launch
of the report, said its findings echo the social exclusion
unit’s report last year, which is now feeding into a
programme of work across all government departments.

‘Snakes and Ladders’ from 020 7253 4038

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