STOP THE PRISON CYCLE
#seethefullpicture raises awareness of the challenges people experiencing a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, poor mental health and other complex needs face in their lives. Through frontline delivery and evaluation, we identify opportunities for positive change within ‘the system’, because we believe everyone should have the opportunity to live a fulfilled life.
We run a number a campaigns each year, including Multiple Disadvantage Day which falls on every first Wednesday in July. Our current campaign considers the challenging cycle of prison release experienced by people facing multiple disadvantage.
HOW CAN WE STOP THE PRISON CYCLE?
People experiencing multiple disadvantage are in frequent contact with the Criminal Justice System. Prison sentences are often short, and there is little time for support to be put in place. For those serving longer sentences, where support is offered, it can be inconsistent and frequently does not meed their needs. Upon release, there are unrealistic expectations with many appointments to be met, difficulties accessing appropriate accommodation (or any accommodation at all), and it can be very difficult to find or access support for issues such as substance misuse. This is why… people are being set up to fail.
We need to stop the prison cycle.
A LACK OF SUPPORT IN PRISON AND UPON RELEASE, MEANS PEOPLE ARE GETTING STUCK IN THE PRISON CYCLE… SOMETIMES FOR DECADES.
Join the conversation @SystemChangeTNL #seethefullpicture and help us to spread the message that we need to stop the prison cycle.
What is Multiple Disadvantage?
Multiple Disadvantage is when a person experiences a combination of homelessness, addiction, re-offending behaviour and/or mental ill health at the same time. People facing this complex mix of challenges are also sometimes victims of domestic abuse, are likely to have poor physical health, may be sex-working and may be in debt.
The severity and complexity of a person’s problems means they are often turned away from the very services that are set up to help them, because their behaviour is seen as too challenging. This means people with the most severe problems are even further excluded.
People die because their problems are so severe and because the right help isn’t always available.
Getting the right help
Quite often, organisations offer support for one problem, but difficulties arise when there are two or three issues to deal with. Should one organisation take the lead?
For example, it can be hard to get the support needed if you have mental ill health and are addicted to drink or drugs. Mental health services won’t support people until they are clean or sober. But drinking or taking drugs is a way of getting through each day, a way of surviving. Without them, you might crumble.
Imagine how hard it might be to solve this kind of dilemma if you are also homeless, or in and out of prison.
Where do you turn first for help? Who will help you?
The person seeking help often doesn’t know which way to turn for the best, and ends up being pushed from one service to another and eventually dropping out of ‘the system’ altogether.
With the right help people can and do recover, meaning they are able to live fulfilled lives within their community.
Who is behind #seethefullpicture?
This campaign has been created by 12 projects across England that form the Fulfilling Lives Programme: Supporting People with Complex Needs, and it has been fully informed by people who have or are currently facing complex needs.
Staff, volunteers and beneficiaries worked alongside each other, sharing knowledge and learning.
There was no them and us. Just us. And we want you to join us and show your support.