As part of the Review of the Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership throughout 2021, it was identified by partners that there was a gap in coordinated community reintegration support across Ayrshire, for people leaving prison.
As a result of this the Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership Manager and Head of Offender Management from HMP Kilmarnock, met with colleagues from Dumfries and Galloway Community Justice Partnership to learn more about the model which was in place and working successfully within HMP Dumfries. It was decided that the Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership would support the introduction of a similar model across Ayrshire and as Scottish Prison Service lead this piece of work in Dumfries and Galloway, Serco would take on this role in Ayrshire.
A Terms of Reference was developed for the new Community Reintegration weekly meetings and the model was introduced in May 2021.
A multi-agency approach was adopted to support the successful reintegration of individuals back into the community. Pan-Ayrshire partners from several services attend weekly meetings where people being released from prison in the following 6 to 8 weeks are discussed.
Serco engage with community partners, external agencies, and appropriate organisations to assist people in accessing any necessary service provision, establishing / re-establishing prosocial relationships, and influencing and motivating change.
The approach aims to ensure that individuals leaving custody and reintegrating back into the Ayrshire communities are given the opportunity to be offered support, discuss their needs, and be assessed appropriately. This will include those being liberated from Scottish Prison Service establishments out with the Ayrshire region.
The weekly meetings will assess and where possible provide the offer of support to all those sentenced to short term sentences with no statutory or licence conditions placed on them once liberated. The weekly meetings will discuss those being liberated and returning to Ayrshire from establishments out with Ayrshire area and where appropriate make referrals to support their smooth reintegration.
Review of the Model
As it has been one year since the model was introduced, the Community Justice Ayrshire Partnership Board agreed to support a review of the process. This review will aim to find out what is working well and if there are any areas for improvement so that people returning to Ayrshire from prison are fully supported. This review will involve a wide selection of partners across Ayrshire and will be facilitated by the Community Justice Ayrshire Support Team.
If you would like further information on community reintegration the please do not hesitate to get in touch.