Major improvement in drug treatment of former offenders in Worcestershire - The Redditch Standard

Major improvement in drug treatment of former offenders in Worcestershire

Redditch Editorial 29th Mar, 2024   0

A DRUG treatment programme from the Safer Worcestershire Partnership has seen more than double the number of former offenders continuing with their treatment.

Many offenders who are also drug users receive treatment once they are in prison to help them recover but sticking with the programme on release often proves very difficult.

The Continuity of Care programme aims to stop this happening by supporting individuals to continue with this structured treatment so that after release, former offenders are still actively taking part in the programme in the community.

The Safer Worcestershire Partnership includes Public Health in Worcestershire and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion.

It has been successful in using funding from both the PCC and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) to support drug and alcohol treatment provider, Cranstoun.

The support workers build up relationships with drug takers during their time in prison, creating bonds which lead to positive behaviours.

Once individuals leave prison, these relationships continue in the community meaning the treatment is more likely to continue.

Worcestershire County Councillor Karen May, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “The number of people continuing with their treatment is normally quite poor but in Worcestershire, we’ve seen a rise to 51 per cent.

“This is a massive improvement, from 25 per cent just a year ago to more than double in just a few short months.”

Matt Burke, county manager from Cranstoun said: “We know we’re making a difference to people’s lives when they come out of prison, how much this positively impacts on the local community.

“Seeing these figures proves it all the more.”

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion added: “As Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Senior Responsible Officer for the Combatting Drugs Partnerships, I am pleased to be working with partners to tackle drug use.

“It’s important that drug users, who have often been involved in other crimes, continue to receive support to integrate back into society and prevent them from committing further offences and causing harm to communities.

“I hope that, through the Safer Worcestershire project, we are able to continue seeing an increase in the number of people using the programme.”

The team are now looking for more ways to ensure the number of people engaging in community treatment continues to increase.

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