Building Stronger Communities: Releasing Better Neighbours

Daily life at HMP La Moye is probably not something many of us give much thought to. We’d simply categorise the building positioned on the western tip of the island as somewhere people go for a set period upon being convicted and sentenced of a crime. Whilst this is true, what happens to the people who are taken there has an impact on all of us as a wider community as rather than just sitting and biding their time until release the prisoners are supported through a plan of rehabilitation to ensure that once they’ve completed their sentences they become ‘better neighbours’.

In an era where rehabilitation and reintegration are gaining more traction as effective methods to reduce recidivism, initiatives like the “Releasing Better Neighbours” programme at HMP La Moye are paving the way for a more constructive approach to incarceration. Prisoners are encouraged to address offending behaviour through the programme which was inspired by the Seven Pillars of Recovery research conducted by prisoners in Norway.

The Norwegian model demonstrates that Prisoners, when given the right tools and support, can transform their lives. Prisoners who are treated with respect and are provided with opportunities to address criminogenic behaviours are more likely to reintegrate successfully into society, contribute positively, and break the cycle of crime. Norway’s correctional system has long been held in high regard for its emphasis on rehabilitation, and its success in reducing recidivism rates speaks volumes about the effectiveness of this approach.

At HMP La Moye the 7 Pathways focus on:

  • Accommodation – Support prisoners to secure stable accommodation upon release
  • Children and Family – Maintaining positive relationships with family and friends.
  • Substance Misuse – Addressing and educating around addictions.
  • Thinking and Behaviour – Addressing attitudes, thinking and behaviour from a forensic psychology viewpoint.
  • Finance Benefit and Debt – supporting and providing education around financial literacy and wellbeing.
  • Education Employment and Training – Offering employment opportunities, training and education.
  • Health – Supporting  physical and mental wellbeing whilst in custody and preparing for release.

All prisoners once convicted have a sentence plan that identifies risk and needs within each pathway alongside the criminogenic factors that have contributed to their offending and how this will be addressed through the sentence and continued into the community working in partnership with probation.

Everything that the staff work on in the prison focuses on outcomes in these areas for prisoners, and are all supported by other Government departments, charities, and key people on this island in making their work in these areas joined up, efficient and effective. With an emphasis on addressing offending behaviour through accredited interventions, community engagement, skill-building, and empathy, the pathway approach takes a step beyond traditional punitive measures and opens doors to lasting change.

Upon receiving a grant from the Connect Me: Connecting our Communities Grant Scheme, the Releasing Better Neighbours programme has been able to introduce additional activities to support the long-term rehabilitation of prisoners at HMP La Moye bringing in external agencies to support them. These have included activities aimed at helping with supporting prisoners’ mental and physical health. They have included yoga and the Wim Hoff method, proven to help support people with the management of stress, anxiety and pain.  Even in the short time these activities have been introduced prisoners have reported positive responses.

The Releasing Better Neighbours ethos at HMP La Moye is a commitment to the community. By prioritising personal development and fostering a sense of responsibility, empathy, and connection, this programme aims to not only help prisoners re-enter society as better individuals but also to create a ripple effect of positive change within their communities.

The Connect Me: Connecting our Communities Grant Scheme is a Government of Jersey initiative that provides grants of up to £5,000 for projects which increase opportunities for Jersey residents to participate in arts or physical activities for wellbeing. HMP La Moye’s grant is one of 88 different projects which have been supported by the scheme since being set up in 2022.

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