09 September 2014

National recognition for AWP Prison service

The Substance Misuse Team at HMPYOI Portland has been shortlisted for a national Positive Practice in Mental Health Award.

This team, which offers a service to all sentenced prisoners launched the Inside Recovery programme in 2012. This is a structured group programme to help prisoners with high treatment needs relating to drugs and/or alcohol, work towards recovery.

Out of 25 applicants in the "Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System" category, the Portland team are through to the final four, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony in Sheffield in October.

The programme involves participants completing psychometric tests at the beginning and at intervals during and after the programme . The information from these tests is entered into software designed by AWP and gives the client and key-worker a graph showing areas which need to be included in the care plan and in group work.

The graphs also mean you can measure progress over time and the scores at the end of the programme can be used to show progress against risk factors and sentence plan targets.
Whilst AWP provide the Substance Misuse service at several prisons in the South West, HMPYOI Portland was the first to run Inside Recovery.

There have been 128 participants and 102 graduates to date and, as reflected in the examples below, feedback has been really positive.

"If I didn't do this programme I would probably still be using now. It's made me look at myself more clearly and realise what I was like."

"I have learnt most about myself, mainly what triggered my substance abuse and how to stop it from happening again. I have learnt there's more to life than drugs and crime"

"I now believe that I can achieve recovery - I still have a lot to work on but I now know what I need to do first. I feel that I am being taken seriously for the first time in my life."

Graduates of the programme are able to apply to become peer mentors for others going through the Inside Recovery programme, which is a full-time paid and trusted role within the prison.

Well done to the Substance Misuse Team at HMPYOI Portland team for this brilliant work. You are winners as far as AWP is concerned!.

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