Ministry of Justice
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Offenders get ‘through-the-gate’ support for drug and alcohol problems

A new Abstinence and Recovery Centre in Manchester will provide support to offenders affected by substance misuse issues, aiming to reduce reoffending.

Based only minutes from HMP Manchester, the centre will provide a ‘through-the-gate’ service, helping offenders from their final weeks in prison through to their release and resettlement back into the community.

The centre is a joint enterprise between Manchester prison, Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust, Emerging Futures training and consultancy service, Partners of Prisoners and Family Support Group, Riverside Housing and Acorn Recovery Services. The enterprise is commissioned and supported by NHS England and the National Offender Management Service. By providing an aligned and integrated local service, it aims to take a holistic approach to promoting recovery and the rehabilitation of individuals. ‪ A variety of services are provided at the centre, from meeting people at the prison gate and steering them to the help available, to mentoring, coaching, group training, therapy and one to one counselling.

The centre has already been working with offenders released from custody and aims to build a strong and supportive recovery community, with many of the volunteers themselves ex-offenders with a history of substance abuse. It is being opened as the Government introduces wide-reaching reforms to offender rehabilitation aimed at bringing down reoffending rates.

This new approach will see a greater emphasis on through-the-gate support for offenders, including those on short sentences who currently get no statutory supervision on release.

Heather Sheldon, Governor at Manchester Prison, said:

Tackling substance misuse is an essential part of rehabilitating prisoners and driving down crime and reoffending.

This centre will play a vital role in supporting individuals through their release from custody to continue along the path of recovery, reintegrate into the community and build productive lives free from crime.

Gill Green, Director of Nursing for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Our focus here at Greater Manchester West remains on providing a range of services, which all have the recovery of the individual, their family and community at the centre of what we do.

We believe firmly that our involvement in a person’s recovery from substance misuse starts with their first contact with our services, whether that is a referral for in-patient assisted withdrawal, contact in a prison cell or out on the streets. We are delighted to be involved in the Abstinence and Recovery Centre and help people who have been released from prison to stay on track by receiving the right support to build a better life after release.

Notes to editors

  1. The Abstinence and Recovery Centre is located at 31 Robert Street, Manchester.

  2. This September also represents the 25th year of a month celebrating recovery – a worldwide acknowledgement of the achievements of individuals in recovery, as well as the work of others supporting those efforts.

  3. For more information on the announcement contact the Ministry of Justice press office on 020 3334 3536.

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