Supporting prison leavers to access services they may need in the community.

West Yorkshire RECONNECT is a care after custody service that seeks to improve the continuity of care of people leaving prison or an immigration removal centre (IRC) with an identified health need. This involves working with them before they leave to support their transition to community-based services, thereby safeguarding health gains made whilst in prison. West Yorkshire RECONNECT locations include HMP Newhall, HMP Leeds and HMP Wealstun, offering support to prisoners being released from these three secure estates.

Reconnect

The service aims to improve the wellbeing of people leaving prison, reduce inequalities and address health-related drivers of offending behaviours. Whilst not a clinical service, RECONNECT offers liaison, advocacy, signposting, and support to facilitate engagement with community-based health and support services.

West Yorkshire RECONNECT services also aim to:

  • Increase access to and uptake up of healthcare or relevant support services for individuals who have identified health needs upon release from prison who would otherwise struggle to engage.
  • Ensure that the health needs of individuals who are leaving prison or an IRC are met.
  • Ensure a safe transition from prison to community-based healthcare and support services in England.
  • Provide follow-up to ensure engagement is maintained.

How to access RECONNECT

Anyone 18 or over with a health need leaving prison including those on remand and release on temporary license, or who are leaving an IRC can access RECONNECT.

When to refer: Referrals can be made up to 12 weeks before a release date or up to 28 days after release.

Who can refer: Prison Healthcare Teams, Substance Misuse Teams or Offender Managers. 

Self-referrals: Individuals in prison, their friends, or family can also contact RECONNECT services directly to make a referral.

“I’m so lucky to have my RECONNECT Navigator, I couldn’t have done any of the things she has supported me with on my own, without her I do not know where I would be now .”

Service User Feedback, West Yorkshire RECONNECT

“I have never had this help before, I would just give up and go back to prison because people make fun of how I speak so I thought well what’s the point! I don’t want to do that anymore I just didn’t know how. I am so grateful, I can’t thank you enough.”

Service User Feedback, West Yorkshire RECONNECT

“I have really appreciated having you there and it has felt good to get the help that I need. If you hadn’t had been there to help with the GP and my medication I would have just walked away because I get easily confused and can’t deal with waiting around on my own.”

Service User Feedback, West Yorkshire RECONNECT