Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

DART - North East Prisons - HMP/YOI Holme House

1. HMP/YOI Holme House
2. HMP/YOI Holme House Connecting Communities Team
3. HMP/YOI Holme House Therapeutic Community Programme  

group therapy illustration green

1. HMP Holme House

The Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team (DART) offer support to all men entering HMP/YOI Holme House, the UK’s first Drug Reform Prison.

We deliver a wide range of structured work to support recovery from substance use including, 1 to 1 and group sessions, 12 month TC programme, mutual aid such as AA and SMART, and some holistic therapies such as auricular acupuncture.

The service users can also access support from DART peer mentors and family support workers. DART is a voluntary, opt-in service and is available to all service users at any time throughout their stay at HMP Holme House. We provide support whilst in custody and upon release through referrals to partner agencies and community services.

We work closely with partner agencies, including healthcare teams and the prison service staff and play a key role within the Drug Recovery Prison (DRP) and as such have dedicated staff to each of the house blocks to support recovery culture and community development within the prison, meaning the service users have constant access to support should they require it.

Support we provide includes:

  • Structured one to ones
  • Key working sessions
  • Recovery Check-Ins
  • Foundation of Recovery Programme
  • Breaking Free Online

Group work includes:

  • Harm Reduction, Relapse Prevention groups, PS, Alcohol Awareness, Narcotics Anonymous, Motivation Group, current trend groups
  • Mutual aid groups - including Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART recovery
  • Auricular Acupuncture
  • Service User Focus Groups
  • DART Peer Mentoring
  • Resettlement & Release Planning

Our team also support service users with release and transfer planning to ensure that transition between prison and community or prison to prison is a seamless as possible.

Peer mentoring scheme 

All service users can apply to be trained as a peer mentor, however not all go on to carry out the roles – some service users choose to opt-out, while others may not successfully progress. Peer mentors carry out a range of jobs, including group delivery, one to work and recovery promotion.

Family Support Worker

We offer support to service users in regards to rebuilding relationships and reconnecting with families through our Family Support Worker.

Naloxone training

In October 2018, staff were provided with Naloxone training. This has enable staff to provide service users, prior release, with information on Naloxone and provide them with the potentially lifesaving “take home” kits. Staff are also providing Naloxone awareness sessions to service users who remain in custody.

What do our service users say about us?

"My life has been controlled by me taking drugs from a young age….I didn’t care about anyone….I gave up….I couldn’t stop on my own. DART came and saw me and I could talk to them…my support was unbelievable, people had faith in me and that never happens…I’ve now stayed clean for the longest time in my 36 years. I have complete control of my life now…I feel I can deal with whatever happens in my life now, clean." - Service User


HMP/YOI Holme House
Holme House Road
TS18 2QU


Seven Houseblocks (including a Therapeutic Community wing) plus Healthcare and Separation & Care Unit.

Reception Criteria:

Young Offenders age 18 - 21, plus Adult Males over 21 Sentenced Convicted from the Tyne and Wear, Teesside, Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria courts.


2. HMP/YOI Holme House Connecting Communities Team 

The Connecting Communities Team (CCT) support and empower service users in Holme House and their families to reintegrate positively back into their home areas upon release and strengthen their continuity of care. We cover the home areas of service users being released to the North East who have identified Drug and Alcohol problems.

We are part of the current Psycho Social Intervention DART team and we work alongside them and other partner agencies in Holme House to help create healthier and safer communities for the service users in our care both in Holme House and in the North East region.

We give support to the service users by attending groups and appointments upon release (if required) until they are empowered to do this independently; this can include drug and alcohol appointments, mutual aid (NA, AA and SMART) mental health appointments, probation appointments, GP appointments etc.

We also provide a family service that can provide support to service users and their families. Support from our family service can include information on positive communication, rebuilding relationships, family strengths, hidden harm and the effects of substance misuse on families.

We recognise that recovery is individual and for service users and their families to thrive and reach their full potential we all have to work together and offer them an environment that is void of stigma and strong on rehabilitation.

Partnership working

We work collaboratively with probation, Community Rehabilitation Companies, police, health care professionals, benefit agencies, housing providers and any other asset based interventions to help reduce re-offending and increase the wellbeing of the service users in our care. This helps to lower anxiety and make their release as supportive as possible.

We work with G4S, the Psycho Social Intervention DART team and Peer mentors to conduct Blood Borne Virus awareness and blood spot testing. We have strong partnership working with probation, Community Rehabilitation Companies and Through to support the service users upon release and help to decrease re-offending. We also work in partnership with the prison and the gym to organise recovery events.

Peer mentoring scheme 

We have a team of Release peer mentors who work alongside the connecting community team. They provide 1:1 support on the wings and deliver peer lead sessions designed to support those approaching their release. The mentors use a strengths based approach to empower the men to identify their assets and take ownership of their recovery.

What do our service users say about us?

“I have been with the CCT for a while and they have gone above and beyond and helped me right through my recovery and are really helping me while I am out; they should get a medal”

Connecting Communities Team service user

“With the help of the CCT I did not feel like a second class citizen. I would have been on the streets and most probably drank and reoffended”

Connecting Communities Team service user

“I really appreciate the CCT help. I was released with 14 hours’ notice on HDC. I would not have got to the hostel without your help or got support from the community drug and alcohol service”

Connecting Communities Team service user


3. HMP/YOI Holme House Therapeutic Community Programme  


The Programme

The programme consists of three phases and is spread over 6 or 12 months and has 69 beds.

Phase 1: After a short period of induction, which gives you time to settle in on the wing you will begin Phase 1.
This phase lasts for 6 weeks where you attend two groups a week based on the TC ethos and philosophy, teaching you the treatment method and tools used on the programme.

Phase 2: Following on from Phase 1 you will start the second phase which consists of 32 groups covering topics that focus on understanding and addressing offending/anti-social behaviours.
You will either attend one or two groups depending on whether you are on the six month or twelve month programme (this depends on your sentence).

Phase 3: This phase is supplementary and TC members do not have to complete this phase to graduate from the programme. If time is available for you after completing Phase 2 this will cover topics relevant to moving on from the TC.

The Community

The TC is about self-help, where unlike other treatment programmes you may have had in the past, it is not ‘professionals’ who ‘treat’ you, but you do a lot of the work yourself. One of the key phrases of the TC is “Community as method”. This means that the residents (prisoners who live on the unit) are expected to help each other through the programme as well as themselves. The staff are on hand to guide residents and to act as a rational authority.
Confronting each other’s negative behaviours whilst on the TC is an essential part of the programme and of learning about yourself. It is only when you are made to look at your behaviour and accept what is wrong that you become aware of how it affects you, your peers and society as a whole.

Meetings – Morning meetings occur every morning attended by all residents, which outlines the details of the day.

Pull system – Addresses negative behaviour and recognises the positive. All residents are expected to issue both positive & negative pulls on fellow residents and should be viewed as a learning experience, not a personal attack. It is a constructive confrontation.

Job roles – In Phase 1 you will work as a cleaner. Once in Phase 2, there are various job roles available that you apply and interview for, allowing you to practice your interview techniques. This is also seen as moving up the structure.


  • Six to twelve months left to serve.
  • Adjudication free for three months.
  • Be on 10mls of methadone and prepared to be on 0mls in six weeks .
  • You cannot be on a current ACCT or Basic Regime.
  • You must provide two urine samples a month.
  • Attend all groups and key work sessions as a priority.
  • Participate in the programme at all times.

What do our service users say about us?

“Thank you for helping me turn my life around without the TC I would be in the same position as I have been over the last ten years”

“The TC works what you put in you get out, the staff help you as much as they can”

“What’s not to like on here we even have Kola our own dog, she makes the wing feel more like home”



Theraputic Community
Houseblock 6
HMP Holme House
Holme House Road
Stockton on Tees
TS18 2QU