Care and support for people in prison

Rights to an assessment

Prisoners will have the same rights and responsibilities of people living in the community but with four exceptions:

  • prisoners cannot receive direct payments and choices about how their eligible care needs are met will be more constrained
  • adult social care departments will not be responsible for investigating safeguarding incidents in prisons
  • prisoners will not be able to express a preference for particular accommodation except when this is being arranged for after their release
  • local authorities will not have to protect the property of adults in prison or approved premises with care and support needs

Places where social care is provided

Places where social care is provided by Hampshire County Council (HCC):

  • HMP Winchester which houses males over the age of 18, so is classified as a YOI as well as a Category B/C prison
    It holds:
    • people on remand
    • people serving a short sentence
    • people being resettled at the end of a longer sentence from Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and Dorset
  • 2 approved premises in Hampshire sited in Fareham and Purbrook (commissioned by National Offender Management Services NOMS)

Purpose of an assessment

The purpose of the assessment is to identify your care and support needs and evaluate any risks to your independence and wellbeing whilst you are detained or residing in an approved premises.

When you are judged as requiring an assessment, the following areas will be evaluated:

  • support needed to communicate and understand your situation
  • any current care and support being received
  • current health conditions and disabilities requirements around:
    • personal care
    • day-to-day activities-mobility and moving around
    • social relationships and activities
    • opportunities for work, training, education and volunteering
    • mental health and wellbeing
    • safety and risks

As a prisoner, you will need to be referred for an assessment and meet the national criteria for eligibility which is based on identifying:

  • whether your needs are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • to what extent your needs affect your ability to achieve two or more specified outcomes listed within the Care Act
  • whether this impacts significantly on your overall wellbeing

However, the final decision about who is eligible sits with Hampshire County Council and this person must also meet the following criteria

  • be aged 18 or over
  • be detained in prison or reside in an approved premises, such as a bail hostel, and/or
  • have moved from their usual residence as a condition of their bail in a criminal proceedings

If you are eligible for support, we will meet with you again to tell you what help we can give you. This will be your care and support package.

If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria the team might be able to offer information or signposting.

If you would like someone from the Council to see if you need some support:

  • if you are in prison, speak to your wing nurse
  • if you are in Approved Premises, speak to your probation staff
  • if you are in bail accommodation, call Adult Services on 0300 555 1386

Rights to independent advocacy

From the point of initial referral, the Council must offer you the opportunity for independent advocacy.

The advocate can speak on your behalf if:

  • without support you would have ‘substantial difficulty’ in communicating your wishes or in understanding, retaining and assessing information during the assessment
  • there is no other appropriate person who is able and willing to help you

Moving prisons

If you move to another prison, your care and support package will go with you.

We will talk with staff from the council where your new prison is and, with your permission, give them your care and support plan. They will meet with you and check whether your needs have changed.

Leaving prison

When you leave prison, your care and support plan will go with you.

If you live in Hampshire we will transfer you to the local team linked to where you live to ensure your needs continue to be met on release. The local team will review you shortly afterwards in case your needs change.

If you live outside of Hampshire we will talk or meet with staff from that council and, with your permission, give them your care and support plan. They will also meet with you to talk about what you need and see what else they can help with.

Support for families - Staying in touch with someone in prison by telephone, letter or visiting. Also details of banned items that you must not send or give to a prisoner.

Prison advice and care trust is a national charity which provides practical and emotional support to prisoners' children and families.

Offenders Families Helpline offers advice and support on all aspects of arrest, going to court and prison.

POPS – Partners of Prisoners and Families’ Support Group offers a variety of services to support anyone who has a link with someone in prison.

Prison Chat UK is an online community giving support to those who have a loved one inside the British prison system. The forum is monitored by administrators to ensure a secure and safe environment for everyone, including children.

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