Interserve launched its Integrated Through the Gate (ITTG) initiative to support the rehabilitation of offenders across 18 prisons on April 1st.
Interserve Group Limited runs five Community Rehabilitation Companies and recruited 120 resettlement workers to deliver the radically improved service. Under the new model, probation professionals working alongside Interserve’s commissioned providers – Shelter, St Giles and Catch 22 – support service users with:
• Learning new skills
• Addressing behavioural deficits
• Addressing drug misuse issues
• Improving health and wellbeing.
The CRC resettlement workers work alongside Interserve’s commissioned services, who in turn deliver support around their areas of expertise, such as providing:
• Accommodation advice and support
• Finances and help navigating universal credit
• Support and training aimed at securing employment.
The role of the High Intensity Transition Officer (HITO) is a unique addition to the ITTG team. The HITO works with the ‘revolving door’ offenders to try to break the cycle of offending. Their work starts in custody with service users identified as meeting the criteria. The HITO work with a range of partner agencies to support the service user while in custody and also for the first three months post release in the community in order to deliver better resettlement outcomes.
Ian Ware, head of quality and policy for Interserve’s CRCs (and pictured above), worked with colleagues and partner agencies to create ITTG following winning funding from the Ministry of Justice.
He said: “When I first joined probation nearly 20-years-ago, I began as a probation officer based at HMP Hull delivering a pilot service aimed at helping prisoners prepare for release and delivering interventions to support them to stop re-offending.
“I was delighted when Through the Gate was first launched back in 2015 because my personal experience had shown me the importance of looking at ways to work with short-term sentenced prisoners.
“I firmly believe ITTG will deliver because we have used our collective experience to design a model that genuinely provides a service that begins when the individual is in custody and continues post release. Crucially, it also picks up again if the individual re-offends so we can provide a real continuity of service.”
ITTG also embraces Information Technology in a new way. Previously each service had different systems and used different performance metrics. ITTG has new technology in place which enables the sharing of data and means commissioners and stakeholders will be able to see information evidencing performance.
Ian added: “Our staff will be ensuring service users receive the best possible evidence-backed support that will focus on their strengths.
“We have finally created a system that puts the service user first and gives them the support they need to make positive changes to their lives.”