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Brain injury support service for men in prison wins award

We celebrate a prestigious award win at the Criminal Justice Alliance Awards

In 2022 we celebrated a prestigious award win at the Criminal Justice Alliance Awards.

Brainkind (formerly The Disabilities Trust) won the Outstanding Local or Regional Organisation Award at the awards for its Brain Injury Linkworker service, which aims to provide support for people living in the criminal justice system with a brain injury.

The scheme is a lifechanging one, working with men with a brain injury in HMPPS Cardiff and Swansea. It aims to identify and rehabilitate offenders with a history of brain injury, providing them with one-on-one support while they are in prison. The programme helps to build a referral network to include GPs, mental health, community neurorehabilitation and drug and alcohol services.

The Linkworker service aims to reduce reoffending and in-prison incidents by supporting men to engage with the prison regime. An audit of the programme discovered that, following only two sessions with our Linkworker, open ACCTs (Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork, the care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm) reduced by 95%, compared to the three months prior to accessing the service. In addition, adjudications and incidents also dropped by 93%.

The power of the programme has been captured in the Invisible Me documentary, which was created as part of the Ask, Understand, Adapt training which aims to support NHS and prison staff to understand the impacts of a brain injury on the people they are working with.

Research from Brainkind shows that an estimated 47% of the prison population may have a brain injury. The Trust is at the forefront of research and interventions for offenders with a brain injury and pioneering international research on the needs of people with a brain injury.

Davina Jones, Head of Policy Influencing and Social Change, said of the win:

We were thrilled to take home the CJA Outstanding Local or Regional Organisation Award in recognition of the fantastic work the Brain Injury Linkworker Service does. The quality of the other entries was exceptionally high, reflecting the great work happening in this sector. Thank you to all of the amazing staff who have contributed to us winning this prestigious award.

Our Brain Injury Linkworkers provide education on brain injury and support the person to develop strategies to manage their difficulties. All interventions promote self-management and focus on increasing the men’s engagement with education and healthcare within the prison.

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