Case Study 3

After attending a few meetings with both Mr Z and his mother, Choices staff began to recognise the need for on-going support.

As Mr Z had been given a sentence which was under 12 months he had not been eligible to enrol on any courses or partake in any work inside the prison. This had left both parties worried about his release. Choices referred Mr Z to an internal organisation that helps prisoners get back into work. This organisation also supported Mr Z with his mental wellbeing. The progress made inside the prison has continued upon his release.

Mr Z’s mother was elderly and had never been in this type of situation before. She required a lot of support from our organisation, from the practicalities of visiting to the emotional stress of having a son in prison. Mrs Z took comfort in being able to talk through with us her sons’ issues and her concerns for him upon release. The visitors centre is an integral part of our organisation. It is a place where visitors can ask questions, have any of their fears allayed or just have someone listen to their problems. The Choices team were able to help them both throughout their time with the prison. Mrs Z now feels a lot happier about her sons release knowing there will be some extra support for them both.

Choices partnership working enables us to refer prisoners and their families to specific organisations that can help with particular issues. More often than not prisoners and their families are not aware of the organisations which can help them. Particularly as prisoners do not have access to information because of their situation. Because many families and prisoners are unaware of all the services on offer Choices are able to liaise with different organisations and point them in the right direction to get the relevant help. This is where Choices comes into its own as we can assist families and help them to make the links with other organisations which can help them to make positive changes in their lives.

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