An interview with Marie, DART Team Leader at HMP Kirklevington Grange
Tell us about the peer mentoring scheme at Kirklevington Grange
Our peer mentors carry out an induction with every new prisoner on the day they arrive. They will then have appointments with the prisoner for the first 12 weeks, during which they will go through a fact sheet regarding different topics. The aim is to hopefully steer new prisoners away from getting involved in substance use.
The mentors also go out to recovery focussed events in the community such as the annual recovery walk.
The Connecting Communities Lead can link in with community services and help set up volunteer placements for the men while they’re active prisoners at HMP Kirklevington Grange. Often, these volunteer placements can lead on to sessional or full-time employment once they are released.
How does your team work in partnership with other agencies?
The DART team (drug and alcohol recovery team) at HMP Kirklevington Grange works positively in partnership with the establishment, stakeholders and partner agencies to deliver a client-led, recovery focussed service to all the men.
Our DART worker attends the risk review boards with the prison, and joint clinical reviews with healthcare staff. A DART peer mentor assists with the Health Promotion events on a weekly basis as well. Recovery events and awareness sessions are also co-delivered with prison gym staff i.e. our Recovery Month event consisted of a football tournament in the morning arranged with the support of the gym staff, a buffet lunch provided by the prison kitchens for the men involved, and the sharing of recovery stories afterwards.
Does the prison have plans to start distributing naloxone?
Yes, there will be emergency naloxone kits located at various points throughout the prison so anyone who’s trained will have access for an emergency situation. We will also be issuing naloxone kits to clients on release. Anyone identified as using opiates, having a history of opiate use, or going into a situation where a friend or family member might use, will be offered training and a naloxone kit to take with them on release.
The scheme will be rolled out across all prison sites in the north east with the aim of increasing wellbeing and reducing the number of drug-related deaths in the community.