Transforming Rehabilitation during a penal crisis: A case study of Through the Gate services in a resettlement prison in England and Wales

Taylor, Stuart; Burke, Lol; Millings, Matthew and Ragonese, Ester (2017). Transforming Rehabilitation during a penal crisis: A case study of Through the Gate services in a resettlement prison in England and Wales. European Journal of Probation, 9(2) pp. 115–131.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2066220317706438

Abstract

In 2013, the UK government published plans to radically reform resettlement provision for released prisoners via a Through the Gate scheme to be introduced as part of its Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. Under the scheme, 70 of the 123 prisons in England and Wales were re-designated ‘resettlement prisons’ and tasked with establishing an integrated approach to service delivery, seamlessly extending rehabilitative support from custody into the community. This article utilises a case study of one resettlement prison to critically consider the implementation of these new arrangements. Drawing on insights by prisoners, prison staff and other key stakeholders, it argues that instead of enhancing resettlement, Through the Gate is actually enhancing resentment with Transforming Rehabilitation appearing to accentuate, rather than mediate, long-standing operational concerns within the prison system. The article argues that unless there is a significant renewal of the structures, processes and mechanisms of administering support for addressing the rehabilitative needs of prisoners, the current operational flaws within Through the Gate provision risk deepening the sense of a penal crisis.

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