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A study reveals that:

    1- The greatest need for support was just before release and in the period shortly afterwards when it becomes apparent that the plans made in prison may not work out. With support, some people in the study sample were able to make positive changes in their lives.


    2- Many prisoners left prison with high hopes for their future plans, for example to move into employment, education or training, and stay off drugs and out of prison. However, these plans were often made in the absence of timely joined-up advice and support and, in some cases, were unrealistic


    3- As a consequence plans often fell apart when the ex-prisoners were faced with the realities of sorting out their lives. Those who had the support of friends and family tended to fare better.


    4- The ex-prisoners may have benefited from more help in dealing with the realities of the labor market, such as advice on how to cope with or avoid multiple moves in and out of work, how to disclose criminal records, and how to accept that they may need to take jobs that they do not wish to do


    5- Employment status was more a reflection of circumstances in relation to substance misuse and housing, rather than criminal activity.


    6- Many who remained on benefits found financial management a continual struggle. Those who did not have family and friends to turn to for support suffered the most financial hardship. Moving into employment usually meant that people were better off.



    For those with problems with substance misuse, abstinence after release was a priority and perceived to be a key in helping them become crime-free and gain stability in their lives. However, many found it difficult to access on-going support outside prison and relapse was therefore common

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