The Julian House Devon offender supported housing service provides 9 units of supported accommodation for individuals stuck in a cycle of offending in Exeter.
The service supports those offenders deemed high risk of re-offending and works in partnership with Probation, Police, Local Authorities, Mental Health, Substance Misuse and other specialist community partnership support agencies.
We chatted to our Exeter Service Manager, Kirsty, about the importance of this service:
Hi Kirsty! How many ex-offenders are we currently supporting in Exeter?
Kirsty: We currently have 9 bed spaces in total, and we are currently looking for another 2 bedspaces. Our spaces are available to anyone who is under the care of probation for a minimum of six months at the point of referral to us. Clients don’t necessarily come straight to us from prison, they may already be back in the community but are referred to us because they still need some extra support and guidance.
Why is this service so important in Exeter?
Kirsty: The service is important because it gives people the opportunity to make a positive change in their lives. Individuals with a history of offending can use our services as a stop gap to get themselves back on their feet. It might be that they just need a bit of advice or support to point them in the right direction.
Ultimately, it gives people the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves with the help of a strong support system; break the cycle of reoffending again in the future; and live safe and independent lives.
What does a typical day look like for the Criminal Justice team?
Kirsty: Our team has lots of direct face-to-face contact with our clients. They meet them at their accommodation, or sometimes out for a coffee in the local community. They take our clients to the job centre; the doctor, or the dentist. They also help our clients to register on the housing system.
The team spends time managing referrals, conducting assessments to determine if an individual is suitable for our service; and writing support plans. They also perform health and safety checks at the properties we manage. So, it’s a multi-faceted role! The main goal is to provide support for our clients depending on their individual needs.