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We work closely with women across the criminal justice system – from those recently released from prison to women who are still serving a sentence and those who have offended for the first time. 

Our support aims to deter women from reoffending or breaking conditions of their license or probation, along with improving their mental health and giving them more opportunities for the future.

Leaving prison can be incredibly distressing for those with little or no support in the community, or those who have financial difficulties and a range of other complex needs. But our open-door policy enables us to engage with women and break down barriers so they have someone to turn to for advice. If you’re on license or have a community sentence, we can work alongside your probation officer around the details of your support plan. If you are coming to us from the courts or prison service, we can support you to increase your confidence and self-esteem, as well as learn new skills that can help you to find a job. We want to equip you with everything you need to become more independent, make more informed choices and have a better chance of a brighter future.

How we can help

We have various support projects, which include Prison In-reach and Enrichment work at HMP Foston Hall and HMP Drake Hall as well as our onsite accommodation Dawn House for those newly released from prison, and early intervention schemes. Find out more below.

The overall impact of our services helps us to develop women’s life skills, enabling them to better cope with challenging situations in the future, understand how to navigate housing and benefits systems and learn ways to manage their mental health and addictions to substances. This can all reduce their risk of reoffending and the likelihood of them going back to prison.

Early Intervention

Project New Chance is one of our early intervention schemes that helps to divert first-time and low-level offenders away from prison and reduce their risk of reoffending.

Working in partnership with West Midlands Police and the Crime Commissioner, women are referred to us if they have received a conditional caution, conditional discharge or community resolution. 

Our caseworkers are able to focus on the deeper, complex issues and build a relationship with each woman as she engages in our services and gets support for everything from housing to mental health, substance and alcohol misuse, domestic violence, sexual trauma and financial issues.

“For some of our residents life will always present challenges, however seeing our women grow in confidence and believing that there can be a life after prison is inspiring. Our service gives women the right tools to rise to those challenges and overcome them.” – Anawim case worker

Employability Skills Courses and Opportunities

We are proactive in encouraging women to take part in courses and make the most of opportunities at Anawim that can improve their work skills and chances of finding a job. 

Anawim’s courses include everything from improving confidence and self-esteem, to budgeting and managing finances and emotional resilience training workshops.

We also have work placements at our centres that give women the chance to build up experience towards a career in office work, events, counselling and much more. 

We are keen to ensure that women who have a history of offending behaviour and a criminal record are aware of their options and feel confident to re-enter into employment, education or volunteering, so we support each woman to understand the conditions of her record and the opportunities that are available to her.

Prison In-reach

Anawim regularly visits women in HMP Foston Hall and HMP Drake Hall, to build relationships with them, to address their offending behaviour, and to identify women who might require additional support.

For some of our women in prison it’s the first time anybody has listened to their story and the first time anyone has acknowledged that past trauma has played a role in their current situation. This helps women to have hope, to see that they can have a life after prison and that there are options for everyone to make positive progress. It supports women ‘through the gate’, and helps them to thrive in the community after prison.

We also have Enrichment Workers in the ACCESS and CAMEO unit at HMP Foston Hall providing specialised therapeutic workshops for women with personality disorders, understanding how mental health contributes to offending behaviour, and supporting with challenges in prison. Therapeutic activities are provided for women in the evenings and at weekends when women are most vulnerable after having worked through deep trauma. This work is significantly reducing incidents of self-harm within the prison.

This is one part of the mental health services that we provide.

This story contains references to prison, removal of children, domestic violence, money issues, homelessness and mental health

Katie’s Story

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To find out more about what we do, visit our approach and impact.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, you can find out more here.