Our Work In Prisons
RFEA provides support to veterans in the Criminal Justice System. We do this by employing RFEA Ex-Forces Custody Mentors. We currently operate in prisons in the East of England and wish to expand our network across the UK.
Since August 2011, RFEA has engaged with and supported just over 500 veterans in the Criminal Justice System, around 40% of whom we have helped to gain appropriate and rewarding employment, as well as sourcing over £24,000 of training and funding opportunities for them.
The support that RFEA ex-Forces Custody Mentors provide to veterans in the Criminal Justice System include:
- Identification of and engagement with veterans in prison, including an assessment of needs.
- Delivery of regular veterans forums within prisons – designed to be a catalyst for wider engagement.
- Sourcing funding for the up-skilling of lapsed qualifications during the custodial sentence to improve veterans’ chances of securing employment upon release.
- Encouraging new businesses to consider employing ex-offenders.
- Preparing bespoke disclosure letters for veterans with criminal convictions, in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
- Arranging volunteer positions for veterans given a Community Service Order, or work as a Category D Prisoner from the prison estate.
- Encouraging veterans to start their own business and accessing established funding streams to help them achieve this.
- Liaising with the prisoner’s family to support them into employment, therefore creating a stable home environment.
- Referring the veteran to other appropriate military charitable support in line with individual need.
RFEA’s position within the military charity community also enables us to be a powerful broker and linker to other charities that may be best positioned to meet particular needs of a client – such as housing, life skills, mental health, and welfare needs – before they are ready to make use of our employment service.
Our access to these charities and the Job Centre Plus Armed Forces Champions also give us strong links into user forums.
RFEA currently provides support in the following prisons:
- HMP Norwich
- HMP Wayloand
- HMP Peterborough
- HMP Hollesley
- HMP Highpoint