Linkworker in office at HMP Drake Hall

HMP Drake Hall

The Disabilities Trust Foundation in partnership with The Barrow Cadbury Trust and The Pilgrims Trust has launched a Linkworker service within a female custodial setting.

Specialist support and rehabilitation following a brain injury, even years after it was sustained, means a prisoner has a greater chance of engaging with services, integrating with the community and breaking the cycle of re-offending.

The Linkworker projects provide direct benefit for the most vulnerable, severely disadvantaged individuals with a brain injury and support community and statutory services working with individuals with multiple complex needs. The research will look at the relationship between TBI, female offenders, violent offending, in-prison behavioural infractions and rates of recidivism.

If you would like to know more about the work we are doing at HMP Drake Hall we have a briefing paper with more information available here.

The aims of the project are to:

  • identify women with a brain injury who enter custody
  • develop a care pathway and provide dedicated support to women with a brain injury
  • raise awareness of brain injury within the female prison population
  • explore causal links between self-harm, violence and brain injury in the female prison population

Our services deliver direct one to one support for people with brain injury and develop partnerships with health, social care, probation, homeless, and drug and alcohol services to ensure each individual has the appropriate support network in place

Through all the projects we have developed a validated Brain Injury Screening Index (BISI) ®

The projects below have been successfully completed. For any enquiries about commissioning a service in your area, please contact us via email at foundation@thedtgroup.org or call us on 01444 239123.

HMP Leeds and Leeds homeless community

Our recent projects include a prison Linkworker service at an adult male prison, HMP Leeds, and a homelessness Linkworker service based in the Leeds community working with a number of local organisations including St George's Crypt and Emmaus.

Our services delivered direct one-to-one support for people with brain injury and develop partnerships with health, social care, probation, homeless, as well as drug and alcohol services to ensure each individual has the appropriate support network in place.

Veterans Project 2016

The Disabilities Trust Foundation in partnership with Combat Stress worked on a service supporting ex-service men and women in the community.

The project built on the significant impact achieved by Prison and Homeless Linkworker Services and sought to improve outcomes for help-seeking Veterans by developing personalised interventions to support them to better access existing services. Previous research conducted by the Foundation and Combat Stress has indicated that 63% of all new referrals screened positive for brain injury on their initial assessment showing a clear need for the Foundation to develop a service to support this population. As part of the project we also conducted research assessing the impact of the Brain Injury Linkworker service in conjunction with Combat Stress and Kings College London.

This project has now come to an end and its legacy is now being addressed.

Youth Offender Institutions (YOI) at Wetherby and Hindley

chain link inside a womens prison

In 2015 we completed a two year pilot of Linkworker services in HMYOI Wetherby and HMYOI Hindley. These services adapted the adult Linkworker service model for young offenders who were from two distinct age groups: 15 to 18 and 18 to 21 year olds.

The Linkworker engaged with complex and vulnerable young people, many of whom had been otherwise disengaged from previous support available in prisons. This enabled the Linkworker to address some very challenging behaviours and encouraged engagement with other services including healthcare and education. An audit of these services was undertaken by the University of Exeter and the Evaluation Report has now been published.

Our services deliver direct one-to-one support for people with brain injury and develop partnerships with health, social care, probation, homeless, and drug and alcohol services to ensure each individual has the appropriate support network in place.