Reconviction rates slashed by one-fifth

A rehabilitation initiative has cut reconviction rates among people
with mental health problems caught up in the criminal justice
system by 22 per cent, according to an independent Home Office

The Link Worker scheme run by Revolving Doors Agency aims to
support individuals with mental health problems who have been in
contact with the criminal justice system and put them in touch with
mainstream services.

“Poor housing, unemployment, substance misuse, mental illness and
problems with relationships are among the chief causes of
re-offending by ex-prisoners,” says a report on the scheme.

It highlights that 99 per cent of people referred to Revolving
Doors 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 when they were referred to us,”
the agency said.

The report calls for more accommodation for people with multiple
needs who have criminal records, pointing out that “while housing
does not guarantee that someone will never re-offend, it does
reduce the probability”.

The agency also urges an increase in treatment available to
vulnerable prisoners who are released into the community after
completing drug detoxification programmes and a simplification of
the benefits system.

Prisons minister Paul Goggins, who attended last week’s report
launch, said its findings echoed the social exclusion unit’s report
last year, which is now feeding into a programme of work in all
government departments.

– Snakes and Ladders from Revolving Doors on 020 7253

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