Criminal justice and people with complex needs.
A large number of people who are in frequent contact with the criminal justice system have complex needs. People may experience problems in multiple areas of their life at once, becoming trapped in a chaotic life that it is hard to change.
A small number of offenders repeatedly return to custody. In Avon and Somerset, around 20% of all offences involve repeat offenders:
Leaving custody and returning to the community can be very challenging for people with complex needs. Without adequate support, people can face challenges with:
Housing, in particular, can have a huge impact on the transition between prison and reintegration. For example, if housing is arranged prior to release, someone who has problems with drug use is much less likely to start using after leaving prison. **
Providing the right support for people with complex needs as they leave prison can help them reintegrate into society, reduce the risk of re-offending and help them to maintain hope and motivation.
There are issues particular to minority groups who come into contact with the criminal justice system:
Golden Key clients experience a challenging mix of homelessness, long-term mental health problems, dependency on drugs / alcohol and offending behaviour. Our clients find that involvement with the criminal justice system can contribute to a cyclical situation from which it is difficult to emerge.
Risk of re-offending is much greater if we don’t look at all the circumstances making up somebody’s life. At Golden Key, we are working with clients and services to find better ways of providing support so that people with complex needs have better outcomes.
*Applying Behavioural Insights to offender recall in Avon and Somerset: Behavioural Insight Team, October 2017. p5
**Resettlement Outcomes on Release from Prison: Niven and Stewart (2005, p.5)