Transforming delivery of substance misuse support to female prisoners

Miss Alex Viccars

The Forward Trust

Aims, Design & Setting:

In response to an external service evaluation of the substance misuse service at HMP Send, a new model was designed to increase accessibility of substance misuse treatment and provide a range of interventions suitable for women with different needs. The service re-design aimed to explore whether a flexible, needs-led model of substance misuse support would improve treatment outcomes for female prisoners.

Participants:

135 women who engaged with the 'Levels' model from 01.09.16 to 31.08.17 were compared with 138 women accessing treatment in the 12 months prior.

Interventions:

The range of interventions offered within the Levels model are outlined below:

Measurements:

Psychometrics measuring pre- and post-programme motivation to change, confidence in abstaining from drugs and alcohol and social problem solving skills were collected using:

  •  University of Rhode Island Change Assessment
  •  Drug Taking Confidence Questionnaire
  •  Social Problem Solving Skills Inventory  

Findings & Conclusions:

  • 95% completion rate for Stepping Stones and 25% increase in completion rate for Footsteps in Recovery. Improvements were also shown in participants ' motivation to change substance misusing behaviour, and confidence in abstaining from drugs and alcohol.
  • 12% increase in number of clients receiving clinical interventions
  • 120% Increase in the number of clients completing a detox
  • 88 decrease in the number of missed appointments
  • 27% increase in clients accessing community treatment upon release

These findings show that a flexible, staged approach to prison-based substance misuse support can prepare women for intensive treatment, meet their needs more effectively and lead to improved treatment outcomes.

Co-Authors

Ms Hattie Moyes MSc: Research Manager, The Forward Trust Miss Alex Viccars BSc: Senior Research Officer, The Forward Trust

Conflicts of interest:

no conflict of interest


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