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Some prisoners or young offenders may be eligible to apply for a community visit. Normally this will be on a monthly basis and they will stay with family or friends in the locality of the prison.

Preparation for Employment and Job Clubs

Some prisons run their own job clubs in which advice and assistance are available to prisoners on how to look for jobs, including how to prepare a CV and interview technique.

Money and benefits

As prisoners get near their release date the they will be advised on these as well as whether they eligible for a discharge grant that helps with accommodation.

End: www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/adviceandsupport/beforeafterrelease/resettlement Chief Inspector’s Most Recent Comment on Resettlement

Resettlement in prisons can still best be described as ‘patchy’ There are some good initiatives, and examples of effective co-operation between prisons and prison areas, and local and statutory voluntary organisations. But there is still an absence of secure funding, strategies and planning based upon an analysis of prisoner needs. And prisoner movements can undermine the best efforts of local managers. (HM Chief Inspector of Prisons 2004a)

  • Role of NGO agencies

Over the years, many NGOs have catered either separately










or exclusively for female ex- chief among them being The

Prison Reform Trust and Howard League ), are listed below. The Apex Trust (www.apextrust.com) co-ordinates 21 projects offering a range of services to ex-offenders and employers to ensure


the country

a better


relation. The Trust offers advice locate potential jobs, complete prepared to consider applications ASHA Project

and guidance to individual women which helps them to application forms and identify employers who are from former prisoners.

The first ASHA Centre had been operated by the local probation service between 1994 and 1997, and when it was closed, those involved were determined to re- establish it as an independent charity aimed at helping disadvantaged women to access resources. That aspiration was achieved with the generous support of the Government Office for the West Midlands, and the Centre opened to users in May 2002.

Our launch was low key, and concentrated on introducing the work of the Centre to those local agencies which are critical to our success, through making appropriate referrals of women who are genuinely too disadvantaged to reach resources that would help them to improve their position. We are delighted to have established such a positive network of alliances with health, probation, drugs, education and training services and many other voluntary organisations, which have formed the basis for joint ventures for the benefit of women users. ASHA offers a neutral, stigma-free base from which users can be signposted to other resources, and has proved relevant to women from the relatively small minority ethnic groups in the Worcester area. (ASHA 2003)


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