Genus Programme

May 2017

Presenting Issues:

C was referred to the Genus programme in January 2017 by Chris Gunn (APM) to work with him to make positive changes to his life through solution focussed and behavioural therapy techniques by engaging in a 10 week Building Positive Futures Programme. C was identified as a suitable participant due to him being subject to and witnessing domestic abuse throughout his childhood, estranged from his maternal family and being involved in gang culture which subsequently led to his custodial sentence. C said he wanted to build on family relationships and address his behaviours which had led to his offending behaviour.

Interventions

C engaged well and embraced the principles and content of the programme. Sessions included identifying and implementing personal solutions and applying them to social situations, skills and strengths, personal thoughts and beliefs, effective communication, negotiation and conflict resolution, impact of behaviour on others, consolidating change and moving on. C, on a weekly basis, has committed to making positive changes which have been noted by other staff, friends and himself. He now has a clear goal of what he wants to achieve after release and how he can achieve it. He has moved away from his allegiance with the gang he has been heavily involved in and states he wants more out of life than taking and selling drugs and being involved in criminal activity. He has talked at length about his family and is adept at externalising his emotions and feelings with a positive perspective and is keen to re-establish contact with his mother who he hasn’t seen in eleven years. He showed excellent insight into the impact of his behaviour on himself and others and talked at length about how he can make and sustain changes, both in custody and in the community. He has commented that the abuse ‘stops with him’ and hopes to secure his own tenancy, employment and have a loving family around him. C has worked hard and committed to the programme and the positive change is evident through his actions and attitude. This is also evident from the justice star assessment and the feedback C provided regarding the programme.

Outcomes

C states he is thinking clearer now and approaches life in a more positive way. When asked how the programme has helped him he stated “It has reformed me. It has helped me become a better person in ways I would never thought I could be before coming to prison”. He has made significant improvements in the areas of in accommodation, mental health / managing strong feelings, family & relationships and a crime free life. C has several positives on Nomis, describing his positivity, helpfulness and conduct. He has applied for his CAT D and has been informed that he should be moved within the next few weeks. Initial contact has been made with his mother and maternal nan via Mentoring West Midlands and it is hoped that this can be developed with the view of C writing to and eventually meeting up with his estranged family.

Client B

May 2017
Client B was referred to me by his Offender Manager, in July of this year; his offence was of a sexual nature for which he received a custodial sentence. Client B is 23 and suffers with anxiety and depression and currently claiming Employment & Support Allowance (ESA). He advised that he did not leave the house during the day, other than shopping, attending probation and Jobcentre appointments.

Client B informed me that he currently had the bailiff’s knocking at his door, over outstanding rent and council tax arrears, from a previous rental property. Client B did not answer his door to anyone, in case it was bailiffs who would remove his possessions to go towards paying off his outstanding debts. Client B admitted he had ‘buried his head in the sand’ with regards to the outstanding debts, which was compounding his mental health issues and he felt his life was spiralling downwards.

I signed Client B up to the NOMS CF03 programme and made an emergency referral to Access to Advice (A2A), a supply chain partner, to have them look into his outstanding debts and remedy a swift solution. A2A made immediate contact with the Bailiffs to put a hold on them perusing Client B for outstanding debt and then moved on to enquiries with the creditors, to sort the debts and after several days secured a weekly payment plan that Client B could afford.

Client B said this removed a huge burden from his shoulders and has allowed him to focus on moving his life forward. Client B was then referred to another supply chain partner, Turning Point, for Client B to receive counselling sessions for his mental health issues; Client B has so far had 3 sessions, talking through his mental health issues and just lately he stated he feels more positive towards his future.

As Client B can now freely leave his home, without the fear of being confronted over debts, he has been attending our office on a regular basis and revising on our ‘in house’ CSCS practice discs, towards taking his CSCS Health and Safety test.

I have discussed with Client B, about securing him a voluntary placement, to get him ‘out and about’ more, engaging with others, to keep his momentum going; additionally enabling Client B to obtain some much needed up to date work experience, for him to place on his CV and to obtain a reference from, that he could present to future potential employers.

GD

May 2017
GD was signed to the CFO contract and admitted he was having trouble engaging with the regime expectancies, he was low in confidence during the assessment and was struggling to see any positives in being in a CAT D establishment.

APM caseworker asked GD to describe what he would like to be doing in a perfect world when released, GD responding that holding down a decent job with longevity to give himself worth and support his family was all he was worried about and ultimately wanting when released, however he admitted he was not confident in securing work.

He told his APM coach that he felt he could do warehouse type roles or labouring but had no real experience in those areas and had little employment history in general.

APM caseworker assured GD that all the support available by APM and the establishment would be available to develop and progress GD, increasing employment likelihood and reducing re-offending chances.

Goal setting was used as a way to measure the distance GD had travelled, the first goal being for GD to engage with education and improve Lit and numeracy levels, APM caseworker explained to GD that nearly all employers today want employees with solid functional skill levels. GD completed both and began to see how he could use his time in KL to progress after all.

With his confidence and motivation rising his development through APM to up skill GD towards employment goals gathered speed.

GD was booked onto a H&S Level 1 course which will lead to him being released on temp licence to complete a CSCS touch screen test, obtaining this qualification will allow him to achieve one area of work being considered. He was later booked onto a fork lift truck course and proved himself to the training delivery staff to be very natural and comfortable on the machines. This feedback has added even more to GD’s confidence to the point now where he is desperate for his release date so that he can go out and prove to all he knows that he can source, obtain and keep a full time and secure employment role.

RD

May 2017
RD was signed to the CFO contract and admitted lacking confidence in his ability to find work due to now having a criminal record. APM caseworker asked RD what he would like to be doing ideally employment wise when released, RD stated that any labouring, construction orientated or warehouse would be perfect if he could be given the chance upon release, however he admitted he was not confident in securing work.

APM caseworker assured RD that all the support available by APM and the establishment would be available to develop and progress RD, increasing employment likelihood through training, mentoring and development which in turn will all help in reducing re-offending chances. Alongside this career advice, RD had a new version of a CV drafted the previous version he was using was very short and substandard. The new APM CV showcased the experienced and skills RD had already and would give him the best possible chance of securing interviews for work when released.

RD had some mentoring sessions with Wise Group all designed to help improve increase confidence and his belief that just because he now has a record he can still flourish and progress career wise when released. APM then set about increasing and bringing current and up to date some training courses which would a great deal of strength to his employment applications when release and also for when looking for ROTL work before release. RD was booked onto a H&S Level 1 course which will lead to him being released on temp licence to complete a CSCS touch screen test, obtaining this qualification will allow him to achieve one area of work being considered. RD was later booked onto a fork lift truck course and has obtained Level 2 Counterbalance licence.

RD’s confidence has increased a huge amount since contract sign up, he is eager to embrace training and development opportunities and wants to get straight back into a long and rewarding career when released into community.

Firebreak

January 2017
One participant who had never worked and was serving a 4 year sentence for drug offences decided they would like to join the Firebreak course with Essex Fire Service to build their confidence and assertiveness. By the end of the first day he was getting good reports from the firemen. As the week progressed the change in him was enormous. The reports were improving daily and a new confident young man surfaced. Communicating well with their team and giving clear instructions in group exercises. They went from self doubt to self belief. Whilst always enjoying sport, the participant enrolled on a gym course and is now the Gym orderly. They get excellent reports on NOMIS from gym staff and the unit. We believe the Firebreak course and the positive feedback from the fire staff gave him the confidence to look at gaining qualifications.

Shaw Trust Story 1

January 2017
A Participant with learning difficulties and mental health issues was in the community on license. They were even in prison for a short sentence. Support was key, participant was lacking confidence and know how with CM support and guidance. Participant engaged well, completed budgeting exercise to help with debts. Participant also completed Genius within the course to learn skills to apply for work with his learning disabilities, as a result they now feel more confident. Before the course they did not have CV and was not confident with job applications or interviews, after attending a week course they now have a CV to be proud of and a lot more confidence in reagrds to work. They completed a short course and a VET and are also planning to engage with the living room for addiction issues. They subsequently had an interview and assessment day. Unfortunately they did not get the job this time, but now they desperately want to find a job.

APM Story 1

January 2017
Participant was sentenced to a 18 month DT0, Participant had numerous offences relating to his custodial sentence, breach of ISSP order etc. Participant felt he needed to use his time in custody positively as a chance to turn his life around by engaging in education and accessing support, he decided to engage with CF03 to get support with his resettlement and transition into education, and he also needed support around disclosure due to the nature of his offence he needed an understanding of how his offence will impact on his chances of employment, specifically around the length of time before his sentence is spent. Participant started to engage in education whilst in custody, participant then began meeting with myself weekly to deliver sessions to assess his needs and also to deliver sessions around disclosure, once released from custody participant continued to meet with myself, which we arranged for participant to start his CSCS training, participant successfully completed his health and safety level 1 award in construction, he then progressed onto revise for his CSCS exam, alongside this participant was enrolled into nova training to study multi skills and has since progressed into a work placement with Sandwell council plastering for Sandwell homes, participant is currently waiting to sit his CSCS exam. Participant has also been compliant with his license conditions and attended all his scheduled appointments with youth offending team. Gained health and safety level 1 in construction, Back into fulltime education, Currently on a work placement with Sandwell council, Participant has not reoffended. Participant will continue to develop his skills within education, as he hopes to progress into fulltime employment with Sandwell council as a labourer. Participant is awaiting to sit his CSCS Exam which will allow him to be a fully qualified labourer Participant aims to continue the program and access support

APM Story 2

January 2017
The client lived at home with his family, but due to his binge drinking habits and getting involved with fighting he now finds himself in prison with a sentence and his family support no longer there. I discussed the project with the client and the in depth support I could offer him. He went away and thought about things for a while. He then asked to see me and said he did want to change his life around, he was devastated at what he had done to his family and how his relationship with them had deteriorated . He wanted to build bridges and get back on good terms with them and prove to his family that he wasn’t a bad person. This was the client’s first custodial sentence and he openly told us that he was like a rabbit in headlights absolutely petrified, he was frightened to sleep at night in his cell. And did not know how to cope in prison. His first session with me was a basic motivation chat pointing out it is never too late to change your ways. This was followed by numerous 1 to 1 chats about motivation , dealing with problems and goal setting .After a few weeks the client was feeling much more confident and positive about the future .I mentioned about a Building Bridges course that was due to run in prison and I felt it would be a massive help with his family issues as a member of his family could come into prison and do the course with him. He applied for the course and was accepted his mother was contacted and she agreed to come in and do the course with him. The outcome was remarkable. He passed the course, his mother is now talking to him and really impressed with the changes he has made. He applied for his Home Detention Curfew and his Mum said he could move back to the family home with her. He was granted his HDC and a release date was given. He spoke with me and thanked me for the support and help the project had given him, he felt he had turned his life around and felt it was a shame he had to come to prison before it had sunk in with him .He feels he has learnt a great lesson and is adamant he will not be back. He is working with probation and due to start an anger management course. He is living at home and has some great ideas for his future. We have agreed I will ring him occasionally to see if he needs any further support, he is quite happy with this and is looking forward to the future.