Advocacy in Action
The project will provide independent mental health advocacy support to female prisoners at HMP Eastwood Park and to male prisoners at HMP Bristol to help them address a broad range of issues and problems. The project will support people to be informed participants in the services that they use.
April 2011 - March 2014
Many people in prison are disadvantaged in terms of the recognition of their rights or their receiving appropriate services because their voice is not heard or listened to. Independent advocacy is a well-recognised medium for enabling vulnerable people to have their feelings, wishes and needs acknowledged by those whose decisions may have a significant bearing upon the person’s life. There is a large body of evidence concerning the vulnerability of prisoners.
Bristol Mind will continue to offer a weekly one to one advocacy service at HMP Bristol and HMP Eastwood Park to support people to have their wishes and needs acknowledged, and access to the rights to which they are entitled. The service offers practical support; letter writing, provision of information, telephone contact with other agencies etc. to support people in the resolution of internal or external problems or issues affecting people within prison.
•To support prisoners to have greater involvement in decisions that affect their lives
Activities» Provide a weekly one to one free and independent advocacy service to people detained in prison
» Ensure prisoners have access to sufficient information to consider options and make choices
» Accompany and support prisoners within key meetings
Success will be seeing 350 prisoners per year, and at least 60% of clients feeling they have been involved in the process to achieve some postive change in their problems.
To assist prisoners in the resolution of issues and problems that are affecting them
Activities» Contact other professionals and organisations on behalf of prisoners
» Discuss with prisoners appropriate and practical methods of problem solving
Success will be at least 50% of clients feeling that they have been supported to achieve an acceptable resolution
To support prisoners to get the services that they need and the rights to which they are entitled
Activities» To ensure prisoners have knowledge of their rights in situations which may affect them.
» To enable prisoners to access legal advice where appropriate, and support them in working with legal advisers where necessary.
» To support prisoners to receive the available services that they require
Success will be at least 50% of clients feeling they have received appropriate services, and have been able to exercise their rights where appropriate.
•People have Increased knowledge of problem solving/ issue resolving processes
•People have Increased ability and self-confidence in decision making
•People have an increased understanding of their situation and their options
•People have an increased involvement in decisions about their care and care planning
•People have an increased knowledge of rights in their situation
We will demonstrate success by monitoring outcomes perceived by the person using the service and by the advocate.
We have been running these services over a number of years and most risks have been dealt with. There are some unavoidable risks; the service not being able to gain access to the prison on particular days due to 'lock downs'; people using the service being transferred/ or released before the resolution of their issue with no possibility of continung the work.
We will submit a quarterly report on the demographics of the people using our service, and of the ongoing meeting of outcomes. We will also provide anonymised case studies for more in-depth detail.
Budget - Project Cost: £160,597Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £121,294 Staff costs one 28hr/ week post, one 12 hr/week post, travel and training £23,103 Building and Office costs Rent, utilities, insurance, IT, postage, telephone, promotion etc £16,200 Management costs Includes finance and supervision
The project is based at the main Bristol Mind offices in central Bristol but is delivered within HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Bristol and in the community. HMP Eastwood Park receives women mainly from South Wales and the south of England, while HMP Bristol receives men from Bristol, Wiltshire, Somerset and South Gloucesteshire.
The primary beneficiaries are the 350 individual women and men who will directly benefit every year from the service. Additionally there are potentially another 1,000 indirect beneficiaries including carers, families and friends. There are further potential indirect beneficiaries among staff and organisations working with prisoners where relationships may be improved through the involvement of an advocate.
We have provided independent mental health advocacy services to prisoners since 2002 . When the project was initially set up at HMP Bristol it was a pioneer service providing the first mental health advocacy service for prisoners in any prison in England and Wales. Since then our service has supported over 1,600 prisoners on over 3,500 different issues. We have also provided advice and support to other advocacy groups in England and Wales seeking to replcate the service.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Tom has developed advocacy services at Bristol Mind since 1998. He manages the prison service and provides the 1-1 service to male offenders.
Jo has been an advocate for seven years and has provided the 1-1 service for women at HMP Eastwood Park since 2006.