Drug Support Service
HMP Birmingham is leading the way in enabling prisoners to overcome their substance misuse while in custody, in line with Prison Service National Drug and Alcohol Strategies. We have the flexibility to introduce progressive ideas into the treatment of offenders and to challenge traditional aspects of the prison regime.
Our full-time CARAT workers (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare) offer support to prisoners both during custody and after release. Provision of service also includes group work interventions, ranging from individual drugs to complete relapse prevention programmes. The team run a number of psychosocial courses including:-
- Relaxation techniques
- Harm reduction issues
- Drug awareness
- Clinical interventions to support recovery
- Alcohol awareness
- Healthy living and healthy balanced diet
Our Integrated Drug Treatment System [IDTS] aims to increase the volume and quality of treatment available to prisoners who are assessed as requiring treatment for drug misuse, with particular emphasis on early custody. This is a Clinical service who work closely with the CARAT Team and outside services to deliver care and support to prisoners. We are also delivering the National Drug Strategy Recovery Model, and this aims to support prisoners by reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life.
The management of continuity of treatment is therefore vital, and the Integrated Drug Treatment System for prisons is designed to facilitate continuity at both points of a period of custody: reception of individuals who are in current receipt of treatment, and release of IDTS clients with continuity of treatment needs. We also work closely with the Birmingham Drug and Alcohol Team to share good practice and information.
Our Short Duration Programme is also available for suitably assessed prisoners who are either on remand, waiting a sentence, or with sentences of 12 months or less. This is predominately for prisoners who have a history of substance dependence, and the aim of the programme is reduce their risks associated with substance use. The team work in liaison with the CARAT team and Compact Based Drug Testing (CBDT). The aim of the programme is to Reduce Reoffending, and Reduce Substance Misuse and Related Deaths.
Compact Based Drug Testing (CBDT) is a voluntary drug testing programme that involves a prisoner making a commitment to remain drug free and signing a compact to that effect. It is important to build on every prisoner's commitment to remain drug free as the greater the number of drug free prisoners, the closer the prison moves to becoming a drug free environment and of benefit to all prisoners. In turn this should reduce the demand for drugs in the prison.
Access to Alcoholics Anonymous is currently available, but the service will be hopefully restored shortly.
In addition we regularly host Family Days for prisoners attempting to overcome substance misuse, as we recognise the importance of family support for this group of offenders.