DART HMP Springhill
Our Drug & Alcohol Recovery Team (DART) at HMP Springhill provide the psychosocial treatment to individuals within the unique Category D prison. Springhill became the first Open Prison for male prisoners in the country in 1953.
HMP Spring Hill is jointly managed with HMP Grendon (situated next door) and despite sharing a number of common services Springhill and Grendon operate as separate units and exist for vastly different purposes.
The DART service has been developed to run alongside the specific resettlement regime at HMP Springhill. The resettlement regime’s purpose is to prepare prisoners for release by addressing outstanding needs such as accommodation, employment, vocational training, offending behaviour and substance misuse needs. Through OASys sentence planning prisoners are encouraged and supported to train and prepare for their release. The regime, with its working out programme, is primarily set up to support the needs of longer term prisoners within the last few years of their sentence. However the needs of short term prisoners are also met through short term vocational courses run in the prison.
Our Peer Support Scheme underpins the whole DART service and they are involved from Inductions right the way through to co-facilitating groups and release
The DART provide a variety of interventions to support the individuals at HMP Springhill in their rehabilitation and resettlement into the community. This has been tailored around the specific needs of individuals who are new to open prison conditions and how to cope with the changing regime of working out in the community with all the risk factors and temptation that this brings. We have a well established and robust peer mentor scheme supervised and managed by our DART which is a significant factor in the success of the service. Feedback from our service users is constantly evolving the service and ensuring we meet the needs of the changing trends and population at HMP Springhill.
There is also a Drug Recovery Unit, where prisoners apply to reside on there, get regular drug tests and are supported in therapeutic-type environment. There are also weekly meetings that all residents must participate in which encourages accountability, responsibility and practical skills for living a substance free life whilst in custody and following release. With the support from the DART, our peer mentors established an independent recovery meeting which takes place every Friday evening open to all serving prisoners. There has been several great examples of the innovation shown through the collaborative work of the DART and peer mentors and on release from HMP Springhill some continue to be peer mentors in the community. We have also established a link with HMYOI Aylesbury where we have serving prisoners from HMP Springhill released on temporary licence (ROTL) to attend HMYOI Aylesbury and work with our service users, holding meetings and discussion groups, which has proven incredibly successful and powerful, especially to the young men who attend.