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Sussex Pathways Newsletter February 2022

Welcome to our February edition. Here you will find a round-up of our month, including key updates on our work, feedback from people that we work with, and what to expect in the coming months.


Team News


Please welcome three new student social workers from the University of Sussex who will be with us until summer. They will be working closely with the volunteer key worker scheme each taking on their own caseload. On top of this they will also be working on other projects so feel free to reach out!

Jack Scott Douglas

Jack is one of three student social workers who is currently completing an MA in social work. For the past 3 years Jack has been working for a Women’s Housing association in West London. He’s recently moved to Hove and will be focusing on our work is West Sussex.

Kirsty D’Silva

Kirsty is now working in and around Brighton and Hove while studying for an MA in Social Work. She's worked with residents in West African prisons previously. Teaching business and entrepreneur skills, as well as English language and physical and mental health awareness.

Chloe Fox

Chloe is now covering the east Sussex area for Sussex pathways while in her second year studying BA in social work. Chloe’s previous experience is working in front like child protection for children’s social care specialising in homeless children and families as well as NRPF.


Organisation news


Pathways to change update

Well done to everyone for all the hard work in these changing times. We have maintained a live case load primarily in the community of an average of 27 per month with the majority in the community. This period has also seen a more varied path of referrals to the service including Community based Probation, Health Services and Job Centre on top of Lewes and Ford Prison.


Christmas is always an interesting time for our clients but we had no releases over the festive period but we did have a couple of recalls. One case in particular got recalled on 23/12 as he could not face being Street Homeless over Christmas, New Year and his birthday, he had spent these dates in HMP Lewes for the previous 6 years. We are now back in HMP Lewes and in the last month we have seen a growth in our staff team with new volunteers and 3 Students on placement from Sussex University.


During the last couple of months, we have been able to close 8 cases the majority with a satisfactory outcome and reflection of good work undertaken by volunteers over a period of months. December and November had been quite with referrals but the last six weeks has seen a step change with 8 last month and with have had 8 already in HMP Lewes. Spring is round the corner and it feels that the buds are shooting for our future cases.

Update of RJ – Susie,

Please also look at this case study written by Susie Kennedy. It looks at a restorative justice case one of our volunteers has been working on.

Read more here: https://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/victims-services/restorative-justice-rj/what-is-rj/prison-and-rj-from-a-harmers-perspective/


Dynamic Framework Update


Dynamic Framework have 42 Active cases with 3 closed cases in February. We are coming to the end of the first year and we have had over 80 referrals in since August 2021. The age group we provide to has recently been changed from 18-25 to 18-30, meaning more referrals are now being received. PTC had their first referral from Sophie once she had finished successfully working with her client, which was a testament to the value of the work she had completed with him and how beneficial he found it.

Due to having more clients and the lifting of Covid restrictions, we are aiming to start group sessions at the end of February / beginning of March for our Emotional Wellbeing / Lifestyle& Associates service, the first one being held in Crawley. We would very much like to welcome Brandon our newest member of the DF Team, who will be covering Surrey cases.


Legal visits


Legal visits can now be used instead of taking volunteers and facilitators onto the wing. Legal visits can be booked through Rosana and can be carried out via video link or face to face alongside social visits. There are limited spaces at the moment and there are usually a two week wait so planning ahead is essential.


News Outside the organisation


GHB, from C to B.

The ‘date rape’ drug known commonly as GHB is to be moved from a class C to a class B drug. This will increase the maximum penalty for unlawful possession from two years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both, to five years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both. The move signifies the potential harm of the drug, as well as its prevalence in the UK. Read more here: Draft Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2022 - Hansard - UK Parliament


Safety in young people’s estates (trigger warning)


Unfortunately, after reduction in the amount of harm during COVID lockdown, the amount of harm suffered by children and young people in secure estates is increasing. These statistics look at incidents of assault, self-harm and death across each sector of the Children and Young People Secure Estate (CYPSE) up until 30 September 2021. Read more here: Safety in the Children and Young People Secure Estate: Update to September 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Children in Remand


In 2021 45% of children in custody were in remand which sparked a review into remand rates in the UK. The government released this report in January that looks closer at the numbers. Read more here: Review of Custodial Remand for Children - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Public perceptions of sentencing


A report by the Sentencing Academy has looked at public perception of sentencing. The survey was conducted on the public in England and Wales in 2021. Three key findings were that people thought incarceration rates had gone up over the past 25 when they have gone down. People guessed that the number of men immediately sentenced for rape was lower that it was. People also though that the average prison length had decreased since the 1996 when they have gone up.



Drug and Alcohol treatment in secure settings


Official statistics have been released regarding drug and alcohol treatment in secure settings from 2020 to 2021. Key statistics in include treatment numbers and substance use; adults leaving treatment; continuity of care; deaths in treatment; young people’s treatment and effect of COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here: Alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2020 to 2021: report - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Online safety bill


Government has substantially strengthened the Online Safety Bill with the addition of specific illegal content which online platforms will have to remove and actively prevent from appearing.


With terrorism and child sexual abuse already included, the Bill will be broadened to also cover any content that promotes or enables fraud, the sale of illegal drugs or weapons, hate crime, the promotion or facilitation of suicide, people smuggling, sexual exploitation and revenge porn.


This means there will be no need to create further legislation and enables Ofcom to act quickly against companies failing to remove it. Ofcom will be empowered to issue fines of up to 10% of the company's annual turnover or even block access from the UK.


Striving for safety across Sussex


A recent survey carried out by The Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner identified road safety as residents second highest priority. Katie Bourne (Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner) recently met with members of the CSAM in Worthing to discuss how to reduce injuries on the road. They also spoke about the changes to the Highway Code. The changes ensure that those that cause the most harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce their threat. Additionally, pedestrians, horse riders and cyclist are to be given more space and time.


Quick Links


Gross misconduct probe police officers avoid sack (BBC, 11 February)

Cressida Dick to step down as Metropolitan Police chief (BBC, 10 February)

Record levels of self-harm found at Derbyshire women's prison (Guardian, 9 February)

Latest MoJ figures reveal continuing legal aid decline (Law and Society Gazette, 8 February)


Stay safe from all at Sussex Pathways.


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