Channel 4 News invited us to do a piece with them, live on 18/08/21, around offenders on probation not receiving the help they need to tackle substance misuse.
“Around half of the people being supervised by the Probation Service in England and Wales have drug problems but, due to a lack of funding and focus, only 2% of them are being referred for drug treatment…”
Peter Yarwood served time in prison and now runs the charity Red Rose Recovery, working with the probation service to keep people off drugs and out of prison.
He’s welcomed an extra £80 million from the government for drug treatment services.
He said: “I think it’s a start. But still, many of our people have got an illness and they don’t know they’ve got an illness and that illness manifests in a way that is perceived as though it’s a choice and anybody else with an illness, will be treated with compassion.”
He added: “Statistics show within the first couple of weeks [of leaving prison], people take their own lives and they do that because they’ve got no hope.”
Katie Lomas, of the Napo union, which represents thousands of members working in probation and family courts, said: “Yes, more money now is being put in and more people are being recruited now.
“But it’s not enough to replace what has been lost in the last seven to 10 years, when many experienced staff have taken early retirement or left to go and work in other jobs because of privatisation.”
She added: “Some staff are working with 70 or even more clients at any one time. It’s impossible to provide a reasonable level of service.”
Images and some text courtesy of Channel 4 News.
Watch the full report over on the Channel News Website: https://www.channel4.com/news/offenders-on-probation-not-receiving-help-they-need-to-tackle-drug-misuse-says-watchdog