What is a prison recovery worker and what does it take to be one?

Every UK prison has a dedicated team of recovery workers. But what kind of person does it take to become a prison recovery worker and how can you join the industry?

Prison recovery workers come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, criminal justice, social care, youth work or counselling but all have one thing in common; they have integrity and care about the people they support which in our opinion isn't something you can teach.

They are the first meaningful point of contact for people who arrive at prison and have problems with drugs or alcohol and play an important role in getting prisoners into treatment and help them take the first steps on their recovery journey. The recovery worker will asses the prisoners individual needs and open the doors for a comprehensive treatment plan which the prisoner will work through during their time in prison.

Prison recovery workers are a fundamental part of the prisons rehabilitation process especially when considering that 66% of women and 38% of men in prison have committed offenses to get money in order to buy drugs. Another 68% of prisoners reported that they took drugs in the four weeks prior to imprisonment and a huge 28% of people entering prison have drug addiction problems.

The key areas of responsibility for a prison recovery worker are;

·        Comprehensive assessment and risk management

·        Offending behaviour one-to-one

·        Case management

·        Liaising with and coordinating treatment with community-based drug and alcohol programmes to ensure continuity of care once the prisoner is released

·        Induction into misuse programmes

·        Care and recovery planning

·        Treatment reviews

To become a prison recovery worker you'll need to have experience working in a similar role or environment. You may have come from a related field and looking for a change or the opportunity to use your transferable skills. You'll have experience handling a case load, undertaking assessments and working with individuals to develop, implement and review action plans. you should also have a genuine interest in the understanding of substance misuse problems and a positive recovery focussed attitude.

If you're looking for your next role as a prison based substance misuse recovery worker, give us a call today to speak to one of our consultants who specialise in this sector. If you don't have experience in prison work don’t worry we will happily talk you through the role in more detail and give you a feel for whether the role is right for you.

Equally, if you are an employer or organisation who would like support filling your substance misuse roles, give us a call to find out how we can deliver candidates who match your organisational needs within a criminal justice context.

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