Resettling ex-offenders

‘God of the pimp and paedophile, I come to you’ says Paul Field’s hymn.
This is a typical story of such a release from prison.

We tried to get Mark housed.
Temporary housing, then a promised flat – he lost the flat as he did not have enough deposit. Mark’s family made it plain – no contact.
Terrified of homelessness he accepted the offer of a room from an ‘ex offender’ he needed to avoid.
After four months his ‘friend’s’ probation officer found him a small room in a new area. He rang me with the good news – but ‘shopping’ he said, ‘was the only time he had a conversation’.
Mark was isolated.

He started job-seeking, hard when you’re not permitted a computer.
Working with church safeguarding we fixed up a new church,  someone with whom he could have an occasional coffee.
The GP fixed up counselling sessions.

Mark is determined to look to the future and not to reoffend.

Allison Waterhouse
Resettlement chaplain