01782 450760

Tags: Prison release

Stoke-on-Trent Community of Practice: A Journey of Prison Release

VOICES communities of practice
By Sharon Sharman, Learning and Evaluation Manager, VOICES   On 8th July 2020 @SoTCoP held the first online discussion of a series of sessions looking at the theme of Prison Release.  Anna Mather, Service Coordinator from VOICES, delivered a presentation to the community based on a customer’s real lived experience of his prison release plan.  Participants of the CoP were drawn from voluntary and statutory sector organisations involved in coordinating prison release.  The presentation:   demonstrated that, through using public transport routes it was not possible for the customer to have attended any of the organised appointments – the customer was of no fixed abode; two of the appointments were to discuss housing options. included the cost and timings of the journey if the individual had used taxi service(s) – costs are so high this would be a very unlikely option. showed that, being collected and supported by a VOICES Service Coordinator it was possible for the individual to have attended four of the six organised appointments.     Discussion followed; it was felt by the community that, if the person left prison with this plan with no Service Coordinator or other support, and was expected to access public transport, the plan would ‘set them up… Continue Reading

Hypothetical Question… What would you do?

VOICES hypothetical question
By Elena Casilli, Service Coordinator, VOICES   Anyone who works with customers who are in prison thinks about prison release day with trepidation … have they got an address to go to? hoping their customer isn’t released on a Friday, do they have a bank account? a mobile phone? are they still registered with a GP?… more questions than answers but some of these issues are resolved prior to release…well the easier ones are.  It goes without saying the amount of phone calls, emails, referrals, and prison visits prior to release to make sure all that could be done, has been done. On the day of prison release, we all know its going to be a long day with back to back mandatory and non-mandatory appointments. How does a person prioritise their needs over mandatory appointments that could have their license recalled and returned to prison? With my time at VOICES I have supported many customers on their day of release.  Some more successful than others but I always think the same thing, how can they attend all their appointments without my support?  By that I mean chauffeuring them from one appointment to the next which may include:   Meet with their Probation Officer and… Continue Reading

Universal Credit and Universal Credit Housing Costs: Prisoners

VOICES UC and prisoners
By Karen Dunn, Specialist benefits advisor, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent In this months installment from our resident benefits expert, Karen looks at the most up to date definitions and information around how prison sentences can affect Universal Credit claims and claimants. Prisoners For Universal Credit (UC) you are counted as a prisoner if you are: Detained in custody – whether pending trial, pending sentence, on conviction, or sentenced by a court; or On temporary release (home leave or release on temporary licence).   You cannot get UC standard allowance if you are a prisoner or a hospital detainee.   You can continue to get UC housing costs for the first 6 months if: You are single and were entitled to UC immediately before you became a prisoner; and The calculation of that award of UC included a UC housing costs element; and You have not been sentenced, or have been sentenced to a term that is not expected to exceed 6 months.   You do not count as a ‘prisoner’ for UC housing costs if you are detained in hospital (therefore if UC housing costs is in place when detained in hospital this will not be affected and will remain in pay)   Once you are… Continue Reading

Scroll to Top