Prisons and social work

How social worker involvement in prisons can reduce reoffending and improve life chances after release

Social care and social work are too often absent from the UK’s prisons despite an abundantly obvious level of need. And because of cost restrictions, political considerations and prison culture, which gives security the highest level of priority, this is unlikely to change in the near future. Yet social workers are making a vital contribution to the lives of offenders, ex-offenders and their families, which this special report sets out to reflect.

‘Poor’ care in prisons


40% of prison governors say that social care in their prison is poor or below average. Community Care investigates.

Social workers in YOIs


The use of social workers by young offender institutions is increasing. We investigate the work they do at YOIs.


Social work in secure settings


A head of social work at a low secure hospital on why social workers play such a vital role in upholding the rights of residents of secure settings.

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Youth Justice cuts


Former Youth Justice Board chair Rod Morgan on why cutbacks in youth justice could have some positve results.

Families affected by imprisonment


How social workers have a vital role to play in ensuring families remain together when a parent is in prison – a role that can reduce reoffending rates.

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Mental health services


How social workers can help reduce reoffending rates among and improve the lives of prisoners with mental health issues who misuse substances.

Social care in prison


Despite the overall lack of social care in the UK’s prisons, which damages the life chances of prisoners after release, there are pockets of good practice.

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The Bill that means higher caseloads


The Legal Aid and Sentencing Bill will increase the looked-after child population and also introduces some ‘perverse incentives’ for councils looking to cut costs.

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