Before and after prison

Group of men using computers

Why do I have to report to probation before and after I come out of prison?

Almost all offenders receive extra support when they leave prison custody under the ‘Through the Gate’ resettlement services. These services are designed to make it easier for you to return to your community and live a crime-free life. They include support finding accommodation and a job and advice on managing your money.

Your support package will be created to help you with your individual issues. You might need help finding healthcare services or building bridges with your family.

When does this service start?

Your ‘Through the Gate’ help begins as soon as you enter prison. Within three days of your arrival you will be asked questions designed to identify your resettlement needs. This is part one of something called the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCST).

A few days later, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Community Rehabilitation Company, which provides probation services, will arrange part two of the BCST when a personal resettlement plan will be created for you.

You will then be encouraged to get involved in prison regime activities, preparing you for your eventual release.

Why am I being transferred to another prison?

As part of the resettlement service, 12 weeks before your release date you will be transferred to a resettlement prison in your home area, if you are not already in it. You will have the chance to talk about your needs for when you leave custody and make final arrangements for your release.

What support will I receive?

The package of support we offer can include:

  • Help finding somewhere to live and finding a job
  • Advice on money and debt
  • Help and advice for sex workers and victims of domestic violence.

We may also identify additional services to help you keep away from crime in the future. Your offender manager will engage with you and support you throughout the period of your Licence / Post Sentence Supervision, building on the resettlement issues you identified whilst in custody.