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Prisoner resettlement ‘one stop shop’ launched to reduce reoffending

20 January 2017

A new multi-agency resettlement centre, which will help prisoners at HMP Lewes to prepare for a crime-free life after prison, has opened this month.

The one-stop-shop approach gives prisoners access to a range of services all in one place. The objective is to help prisoners to resettle, get a job, find a home and manage choices that help them to turn away from reoffending.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC), Jobcentre Plus, National Careers Service, Southdown Housing, the Armed Forces charity SAFFA, and mentoring services are all working from the centre. There are also plans for specialist finance, benefit, and debt advisors and services for younger prisoners to be co-located in the resettlement centre later on in 2017.

Siamack Danesteh-Pour, KSS CRC’s Senior Probation Officer, said: ‘Rehabilitation must begin behind the prison walls if we are to reduce reoffending.’

‘Each department within HMP Lewes plays an essential part in the prisoner’s rehabilitative journey, and the new co-located model strengthens our ability to embed our vision of taking a whole prison approach to prisoner rehabilitation.’

‘It is a significant step forward to tackle reoffending.’

‘I am grateful to HMP Lewes for supporting us in creating this resettlement centre, which will ultimately harmonise the way resettlement services are delivered across departments.’

Jo Lupton, HMP Lewes’ Head of Reducing Reoffending, adds: ‘We are delighted at the prospect of having a resettlement centre at HMP Lewes. Agencies working even closer together will no doubt have a positive impact on prisoners. We are striving to become an excellent resettlement prison, and this is another example of the progress we are making.’

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