Partnership Chairs welcome new service to support those released from prison during the COVID-19 Crisis
As Chairs of the Local Criminal Justice Partnership Barry Coppinger, Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner and Steve White, Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner have welcomed a new telephone service provided by Humankind for men and women in the North East who are being released from prison during the coronavirus pandemic.
The helpline is operating between 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, on 0800 731 2072. It will point callers to community drug and alcohol service provision, local pharmacy information, local authority housing support and support hubs for vulnerable people, Job Centre Plus and a wide range of community support projects.
Barry Coppinger said: “I welcome the provision of additional help and guidance for people leaving prison during these challenging times, and recognise the vital role these services play in supporting the rehabilitation journey of individuals to live safe, crime free, positive and healthy lives.”
Steve White said: “This helpline will enable those released from custody to seek support whilst they adjust during those critical first few weeks following release. The risks and challenges for both the public and themselves are heightened during this pandemic so it is reassuring to know that this essential help and support is being provided.”
Humankind provides the non-clinical drug and alcohol recovery service element of the new Reconnected to Health service led by Spectrum Community Health CIC.
The Reconnected to Health partnership, which also includes Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) provides integrated healthcare to men and women resident across the region’s seven prison establishments; Durham, Frankland, Holme House, Low Newton, Northumberland, Kirklevington Grange and Deerbolt. The service is commissioned by NHS England.
Amy Levy, of Humankind, said: “We hope to provide information and guided signposting to services and support which is already available across each local authority area in the North East.”
All drug and alcohol recovery clients leaving prison in the North East will get details of the helpline in their release packs. Information about local services, including links and telephone numbers, will be held on a dedicated page on the Humankind website.
Information on the Local Criminal Justice Partnership can be found here.
Posted on Friday 15th May 2020