What We Do
Barnabus has worked in HMP Buckley Hall for 7 years and have recently started working in Forest Bank and HMP Manchester(Strangeways) prisons.
In both prisons we work alongside the Chaplaincy team and are involved in pastoral work, supporting chaplains in teaching courses and providing long term rehabilitation and support for prisoners facing release. One of our main aims in both prisons is to offer “through the gate” support where we offer to meet prisoners at the prison gates on release and take them to their accommodation whether that be probation hostels, supported accommodation or to their families’ homes. We endeavour to ensure that benefits are in place and accompany them to appointments with probation officers.
In the months after their release, the transition from serving a prison sentence to a life in the community as an ex-offender can be challenging, particularly for individuals lacking support or family connections. During this time we provide practical help at our Beacon drop-in and our support workers offer one to one help and advice. This is particularly important when it is realised that prisoners are released with only a discharge grant of £46 and it is often 3 or 4 weeks before benefits are actually received. Our aim is to provide appropriate rehabilitation support so that the rate of re-offending is substantially reduced. We provide opportunities for a fresh start, including the chance to learn new skills, access training and help with job opportunities.
The work at HMP Buckley Hall is coming to the end as the prison is becoming a prison for long term offenders. However, HMP Manchester and Forest Bank prison are becoming resettlement prisons and, following a recent discussion with the resettlement chaplain at Forest Bank, it appears there is a great potential to provide support to a greater number of offenders.
We are undertaking training and working closely with a resettlement team at HMP Manchester and have already made contact with several prisoners. We are endeavouring to gain access into the prison on a weekly basis where our work will substantially increase.