Our clients are central to everything we do. Becoming involved with the criminal justice system can happen for a number of reasons, but what ever the reason, this can be a scary and daunting time, whether it’s the first time or not. Lincolnshire Action Trust delivers a range of support services and advice for those entering the criminal justice system via Police custody suites, going through the court process, in prison, about to be released or serving a sentence in the community. These services include:
What to expect at Police Stations
If you are in contact with Lincolnshire Police via one of its custody suites, or via Voluntary Attendance, and you may have a vulnerability, you will be able to access the Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion service.
Delivered by LAT and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, CJL&D aims to assist individuals to address needs and access support services in order to be diverted from criminal behaviours.
What to expect at Court
If you are due to appear in Court and there is a chance you could go to prison (your solicitor will be able to advise if this is the case), there are ways you can prepare and the resources below are designed to help you do this.
What to expect at Prison
LAT has delivered SPARC (Supporting People After Remand or Conviction) in partnership with HMP Lincoln for a number of years. Seeing each newly arrived prisoner in reception, we undertake an assessment of need, ensure relevant prison departments are engaged and address any concerns that could make the first night in custody a more anxious time for the individual. We also engage with family members and ensure practical concerns are addressed.
Housing can be one of the most challenging aspects of reducing re-offending. Having a place to call your own after being released from prison can be the first step on a different path and any delay in acquiring accommodation can have a negative impact.
Via our Departure Lounge at HMP Lincoln, we work closely with housing providers and local councils to get individuals settled into new accommodation quickly once they leave prison. We are also able to apply for funding on behalf of individuals to purchase essential household items such as a cooker or fridge.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Lincolnshire Action Trust works in conjunction with a number of services from across the county including those specialising in the treatment and rehabilitation individuals who have problematic drug or alcohol use. Please speak to one of our staff if you wish to access support or you have a family member affected by this.
Employment, Training and Education
Lincolnshire Action Trust has a team of experienced staff who offer everything from the initial employment assessment to follow-on support and referrals to address the needs of individuals as they prepare for the world of work, both during their stay in prison and once they have been released.
As well as supporting access to courses from skills for life with local voluntary organisations through to the Open University, the employability team also supports prisoners to make the most of the learning and training opportunities available to them while in prison.
The team offers free support in a number of areas to aid improved employability and confidence. These include:
- Preparing a CV and how to use key information in a covering letter
- Practicing face-to-face and telephone interview techniques
- Guidance on job search tools and relevant agencies
- Advice on if and how to disclose a criminal conviction to a potential employer
- Information and support to address learning and training courses
- Advocacy with employers and placement providers
- Ongoing in-work support
Linking these opportunities to future career aims can be highly motivational, and by supporting individuals to access relevant skills and training, they are able to improve their employability, which in turn can reduce the risk of re-offending.
In addition to the support individuals receive to help them gain meaningful employment, one of the most important services offered is support with disclosure of their criminal record.
Disclosure is the main barrier that most individuals face when applying for work. We recognise how vital it is that individuals are fully aware of their legal obligations and we therefore advise and coach individuals to be able to identify the most effective method of disclosing their criminal record.
Advice on how the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) apply to an individual’s conviction(s) along with a breakdown the requirements of the Police Act 1997 are discussed at length to aid understanding. In addition, the different types of disclosure, what is classed as 'spent' and 'unspent' and how and what to disclose in situations such as job interviews and college application forms is addressed.
Much of our employability support is part funded by the European Social Fund.
LAT introduced the 'Departure Lounge' concept to HMP Lincoln in early 2015, to ensure individuals did not fall through the gap when leaving custody. Located within the FIRST Centre (Family Information and Release Support Team) , we have a team of staff who can mentor and assist men who are close to release and, importantly, continue this support on release from HMP Lincoln.
The individual's needs are assessed, gaps in resettlement plans are identified and then a personal action plan is agreed together so that they have the best chance when they get out of prison.
Assistance could be anything from arranging a GP appointment, ensuring benefits are in place or help to secure housing. It may be that help is needed to overcome other barriers, such as building self-esteem or dealing with mental health issues.
If you know someone who may benefit from this help, please contact us via FIRST on 01522 663355, come in to see our team if you are visiting HMP Lincoln or email us on FIRST@LATcharity.org.uk
Lincolnshire Action Trust has a long history of delivering effective resettlement support for both male and female prisoners across the prison estate. This involves undertaking an assessment of need, usually covering the pathways of housing, ETE and finance and debt. An individual action plan will then be agreed with each client to ensure all needs are addressed ready for release. We liaise closely with key agencies including the National Probation Service, as well as with family members to ensure resettlement plans are realistic and appropriate.
Lincolnshire Action Trust provides support to adult male prisoners held at HMP Morton Hall, a prison holding Foreign National prisoners, working closely with Home Office and HMMPS staff. Our work starts when an individual arrives at the prison when we undertake an individual assessment covering issues such as housing, finances, family and possessions. Our team continue to provide information and advice about resettlement issues throughout an individual's time at the prison, concluding with assistance prior and up to the point of release / removal.
Release Support Services at HMP Lincoln
In conjunction with to our Departure Lounge at HMP Lincoln, LAT delivers two specific services to support individuals being released from the prison.
A transition support provision for people who are released from prison with no onward accommodation who are risk of rough sleeping and who may have an unknown or hidden substance use need, or who have not engaged with prison-based treatment services. This provision provides intensive 1-1 support for individuals to identify suitable accommodation options and to assist with effective engagement with treatment services. Support can continue for up to 6 weeks post-release to ensure engagement can be maintained.
In partnership with Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, LAT delivers the RECONNECT care after custody service, that seeks to improve the continuity of care of people leaving prison with an identified health need. This involves working with identified men before they are released from prison to support their transition to community-based services. Staff use liaison, advocacy, signposting and support in an attempt to reduce inequalities and address health-related drivers of offending behaviours.
It is widely recognised that women within the criminal justice system can benefit from a different approach to addressing their needs. Our Women's Service operates across Greater Lincolnshire and delivers a variety of support and courses within a confidential and safe environment. The service is designed specifically to meet the needs of women who find it difficult to access mainstream services.
Every woman accessing the Women's Service will be assigned an individual Key Worker to offer support and guidance about a wide range of needs including: health, relationships, housing, parenting, substance misuse, benefits and debt, domestic abuse, education, employment and confidence building.
We also utilise other specialist agencies to offer support where relevant.
Lincolnshire Women’s Centres
By women, for women
Women RISE is a new Trauma Informed service for women and girls delivered by women. RISE will help to build resilience by providing information and support to empower women and girls at risk in Lincolnshire. Delivered in a range of locations and involving a range of different partners, Women RISE will provide safe and confidential women-only spaces where women and girls can access a range of support, advice and training to equip them for life.
Do you need support or information to help you get the best out of life?
We promise a safe women-only space where you will only see female workers.
We offer kindness and compassion to women from all backgrounds, facing all kinds of issues, to empower them to live happier lives.
You can tell us as much or as little as you want to and we will listen without judging you.
We will help you to access the care and support you need.
At Lincolnshire Women’s Centres we offer bespoke, trauma-informed one-to-one and group practical and emotional support to help you make the changes you want or access the services you need:
- Personal Wellbeing
- Debt and finances
If you are dealing with bereavement or trauma, know too much about oppression, violence, abuse or self medication, have experienced homelessness or the criminal justice system. If you are struggling or surviving or want to help others, you are welcome to join us.
We promise to keep what you tell us confidential unless we need to share information about a crime or to keep you or someone else safe. We will only share what is necessary and only with those who need to know.
Call 01522 806611
If you feel you could benefit from the support of Women RISE, or are supporting a woman who maybe could, please submit a referral here
Contact us to find out what is happening near you