Project information

Legal assistance on community care for prisoners

The Community Care Caseworker takes on cases and answers queries around resettlement of vulnerable prisoners upon their release into the community, asserting their legal rights to accommodation, healthcare etc. Her work helps to ensure successful rehabilitation into society for vulnerable prisoners

it is an ongoing project

Charity information: Prisoners' Advice Service (PAS)

Prisoners' Advice Service (PAS) logo
  • Need

    Need

    Discharged prisoners have the same rights to free-of-charge health, housing and community care services as anyone else. However, local authorities, prisons and probation services often show a shocking lack of acknowledgement of the duties in community care law that they hold towards prisoners prior to release and upon release, which can severely damage the possibility of successful rehabilitation.

    Solution

    The Caseworker looks at the role and responsibilities of health and social services and housing authorities in the resettlement process, and undertakes legal action to ensure that prisoners’ rights are upheld. Some cases are resolved by correspondence with the prison governor, or assisting prisoners to take complaints to the ombudsman. Others are complex and result in protracted correspondence and court proceedings. She also gives legal advice via the advice line of the Prisoners' Advice Service

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Ensure vulnerable ex-prisoners receive the care and facilities to which they are legally entitled

    Activities

    » Provide legal representation to prisoners in community care matters.

    Success will be demonstrated through casework results.


    Aim 2

    To improve prisoners' knowledge of their legal community care rights, and how to defend them.

    Activities

    » Provide legal advice and information to prisoners on community care matters.

    Success will be demonstrated through surveying prisoners.


    Aim 3

    Prisons, probation and local councils will be made aware they have to comply with community care law

    Activities

    » In representing prisoners and enforcing their legal rights, this aim will be achieved.

    Success will be demonstrated through the responses of these bodies to PAS's legal representation of prisoners i.e. in the success of the casework.


    Aim 4

    Ex-prisoners will have improved mental health and well-being, from access to community care justice

    Activities

    » Work hard to achieve the highest standard of representation for prisoners, and to keep them informed of every step of the process.

    Success will be demonstrated through surveying prisoners.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Prisoners consistently cite ‘having a job’ and ‘having a place to live’ as the most important factors in avoiding reoffending – the need for these legal rights to be upheld, and the value of doing so to the whole of society, could not be clearer. Thus the project will help to rehabilitate prisoners. We will demonstrate the success of this through securing accommodation, healthcare services etc for ex-prisoners.

    Risk

    The bureaucracy of the prison system can be hugely problematic during community care casework - even straightforward matters are frequently elongated considerably, through withholding of information, extensive delays, and other obstructions of the legal process, all of which can have an unnecessarily negative impact upon the prisoner involved, and upon the passage of justice.

    Reporting

    Through regular comprehensive updates on the progress of the work - with details of cases taken on and their results, case studies, difficulties encountered etc.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,454

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      Amount Heading Description
      £35,754 Salary Salary of caseworker, including London weighting, NI and pension
      £3,700 Overheads Accommodation, legal practice certificate
  • Background

    Location

    We offer legal advice and representation to prisoners at any prison in England and Wales.

    Beneficiaries

    Vulnerable prisoners with specific needs upon their release from prison. Help is given free and regardless of prisoners' means.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Prisoners’ Advice Service has since 1991 provided expert legal advice and information to prisoners in England and Wales regarding their legal rights. We have built up a huge body of expertise in this area, and are the only organisation offering pro bono legal advice to adult prisoners.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Nicola Gregory

    Nicola is the locum Community Care Caseworker (Laura Orger is the full-time holder of this post, and is currently on maternity leave).

    Matthew Evans

    Matthew is the Managing Solicitor at PAS.