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Prison leavers / People with experience of the criminal justice system

Leaving prison or living with experience of the criminal justice system in general can throw up several barriers such as housing, benefits, substance misuse and mental ill health. With the support if various organisations in Plymouth however, there is the opportunity to get yourself back on your feet, re-enter the world of construction or even start in it as a new entrant. Many individuals take up the opportunity to access courses and build their skills in construction using the prison education system and there are many employers out there who have inclusive employment pathways and look to promote rehabilitative ways back into work and contribute positively to communities.

Roles in the construction industry for those with experience of the criminal justice system.

The construction industry finds it particularly useful to recruit workers with previous experience – whether that be as a tradesman, running a business or being in possession of certain qualifications. With the opportunity to build a new life, demonstrate commitment and earn a decent wage, there are multiple pathways into a career that works for you and supports reintegration.

Support for prison leavers and people with experience of the criminal justice system

If you’re thinking about returning to or moving into the world of construction there are several opportunities available for you. You may well have already had support in one way or another, be that from a charity such as Shekinah or through a Prison Employment Lead giving pre-release support. We can also help you to access advice on training, skills and work in order for you to discover pathways or build your career, with supportive organisations able to intervene along the way.
Some of the organisations that can offer support are:

The Plymouth Aliiance – the aim of The Plymouth Alliance is to coordinate a complex needs system which will enable people t be supported flexibly, receiving the right help, at the right time and in the right place. Alliance partners provider housing advice and support, access to temporary and settled accommodation, treatment and support regarding substance abuse, including prescribing. The seven core providers of services are:

Hamoaze House
Harbour Centre Plymouth
Livewell Southwest
The Zone

Op NOVA | Forces Employment Charity – Op NOVA, delivered by the Forces Employment Charity and commissioned by NHS England, provides support for veterans who are in contact with the justice system, enabling them to access the services they need.

Unlock – their mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records in England and Wales to be able to move on positively in their lives.

Shaw Trust – CF03 – CFO3 is supported by His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). It is a voluntary programme designed to help people within the justice system prepare for when they leave custody and re-enter the community. They aim to increase social inclusion by engaging with support from the community in areas such as health, family, housing, education and employment. *Please note this programme is subject to changes in funding.

CASS+ often arrive at court alone, feeling powerless, trapped and terrified. CASS+ are free, and independent of the system. They sit down and listen. They build trust and use their knowledge and connections to find solutions to complicated situations. They will guide you towards positive change and stay by your side for as long as you want them there.

Prison Advice and Care Trust – Pact is a pioneering national charity that supports prisoners, people with convictions, and their children and families. We provide caring and life changing services at every stage of the criminal justice process: in court, in prison, on release, and in the community.

Nacro – They believe that everyone deserves a good education, a safe and secure place to live, the right to be heard, and the chance to start again, with support from someone on their side. That’s why their housing, education, justice, and health and wellbeing services work alongside people to give them the support and skills they need to succeed. And it’s why they fight for their voices to be heard and campaign together to create lasting change.

Other Resource Banks:

Useful Organisations — Caring for Prison Leavers

Support for ex-offenders | The Prince’s Trust

Statutory support on offer can be found here:

Plymouth: Plymouth Probation Office
Check if you need to tell someone about your criminal record: When you need to tell someone about your criminal record
Supporting prison leavers: a guide to Universal Credit

Take a look at our member vacancy padlet which has a wide range of opportunities across the industry.
Some employers have specific schemes to support prison leavers, such as Kier’s ‘Making Ground’ programme, Kier Careers | Diversity and inclusion

Making Ground Video

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