The West Yorkshire RECONNECT Launch Event was a great opportunity to celebrate 1 year of the service, the team have worked extremely hard mobilising RECONNECT across HMP Newhall, HMP Leeds and HMP Wealstun over the last year. Hearing from service users demonstrated the importance of the service and how life changing RECONNECT involvement for prison leavers can be.

We would like to extend our thanks to all guest speakers, including Operation Nova, Yorkshire and the Humber Probation Service, NHS England National Non-Custodial Lead, Lord Bradley, West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion’s Learning Disability Nurse and Lived Experience team, and of course the West Yorkshire RECONNECT team themselves.

The event was a celebration of 1 year of West Yorkshire RECONNECT, but also a celebration of 10 years of West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion! Keep an eye on our social media channels as we look back on highlights of the last 10 years.

Find out more about West Yorkshire RECONNECT

West Yorkshire RECONNECT is a care after custody service that seeks to improve the continuity of care of people leaving prison or am 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.

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.

“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