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Posted on: 30th April 2013

New Ground for Open Road as it wins Offender Contracts

Open Road, the drug and alcohol support charity based in the East of England, has won two new contracts to deliver substance misuse services to offenders.

From 1st June Open Road will deliver services at Warren Hill Young Offenders Institution (YOI) over a three year contract. Warren Hill is on the Suffolk coast near Woodbridge and accommodates young men aged between 15-18. An experienced Young People’s substance misuse team will offer one-to-one support and group interventions. Many offenders come from the London area and part of Open Road’s work will be to make contact with support services in their home areas so that appropriate follow-on support is given when they are released.  

Joni Thompson, Open Road’s Treatment & Performance Manager says: ‘We are delighted to be given the opportunity to deliver this contract. We believe that our more than 20 years’ experience of working with young adults and families as well as our partnership with young people’s charity, EYPDAS, stood us in good stead in winning this contract. The facilities at Warren Hill are good, with a dedicated Intervention block and opportunities to offer both one-to-one and group work. We have a strong team on site that will prepare these young people for a drug-free life back in their communities. The most common problems seem to be around cannabis and alcohol misuse and our emphasis will be on education and awareness of the dangers and effects of these substances.’

Open Road has also won work with women offenders across Essex. From 1st May, working alongside Essex Probation, they will address the specific needs of this group. The 12 month contract will help women who have multiple and complex needs and who require support from a number of community agencies to effect positive change in their lifestyles and reduce their re-offending.

Based in six Probation Service localities across the County, specially appointed Open Road staff will deliver a cycle of 8 week programmes as well as one-to-one advice. A team of volunteer mentors will also be on hand to offer additional support.

Joni Thompson says, ‘The need for Women Offender programmes was highlighted as far back as 2007 in the Corston Report (Home Office, 2007). Corston highlighted the specific needs that women offenders have and these fell into three categories of “vulnerabilities”. First, domestic circumstances and problems such as domestic violence, child-care issues, single-parenting; second, personal circumstances such as mental illness, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance misuse; and third, socio-economic factors such as poverty, isolation and unemployment. Our programmes will seek to address these vulnerabilities.’

Notes to Editors:

Open Road is a registered charity and leading provider of drug and alcohol treatment services in the East of England. In 2015 Open Road will be celebrating 25 years of delivering high quality services to empower individuals and families to recover from the harmful impact of drugs and alcohol. Every year Open Road helps thousands of individuals and their families to combat their drug and alcohol addictions, offering a range of one to one support, group therapy and harm reduction services. Open road currently employs over 100 staff and has a team of over 200 volunteers who actively support our work.

For further information about Open Road please contact us.