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PCC announces trauma-informed approach to reducing reoffending

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Prison staff and practitioners across Thames Valley are set to benefit from a series of trauma-informed training sessions, as part of RESTART Thames Valley.

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, has today (30/8) announced a series of psychologically-informed and trauma-informed training sessions that will be delivered as part of the RESTART Thames Valley pilot project. 

RESTART Thames Valley is a year-long pilot programme supporting people leaving prison, including women and those on short term sentences, which will incorporate a number of elements including: 

  • Dedicated support to help people find work and a stable home
  • Training for frontline staff across a range of organisations.
  • Improving access to local support groups to help people rebuild their families. 

Matthew said: “The highest risk of reoffending is within the first few weeks after being released from prison. A trauma-informed approach is nationally evidenced and recommended and the training sessions are an important step in improving our response to reoffending. 

“Ultimately, RESTART not only helps to get people’s lives back on track once they leave prison, but by reducing reoffending we will also be protecting the public and ensuring there are fewer victims of crime in the future.” 

As part of the pilot project, national trainer’s aneemo and No One Left Out have successfully bid to run a series of trauma and psychologically-informed workshops, with a particular focus on reducing reoffending. A variety of practitioners, including those from prisons and probation, charitable organisations and local authorities, will benefit from a range of options including in-person, remote sessions and access to an accredited video-based online training course.

Claire Ritchie, Director of No One Left Out, said: “Our role is to build on the good practice and expertise already happening in the Thames Valley. To foster staff confidence and psychological safety when taking a trauma informed approach, to maintain their emotional health and well-being.”

Dr Emma Williamson, CEO of aneemo, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this pioneering work and supporting RESTART partners through the delivery of our comprehensive training programme. RESTART partners are doing important work developing a trauma-informed systems change approach to support prison leavers. 

“For over a decade, I have been working to develop the evidence-based for delivering Psychologically-Informed Environments (PIE) and Trauma Informed Care (TIC) for multiple disadvantaged groups such as those that find themselves in the prison system. 

“Research suggests that up to 85% of people in contact with prison, substance misuse and homelessness services have experienced trauma in childhood. It is, therefore, vital that we recognise and advance ways of working with the high levels of trauma that precedes and perpetuates contact with the criminal justice system, if we are to address the issue. Thames Valley RESTART programme is doing just that, and making crucial investment in staff training and support – a central feature of any Trauma-informed programme.” 

The aim of these training sessions is for services across Thames Valley to both understand and adopt a trauma-informed approach when working with individuals they come into contact with.