Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company
Working with women
Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company (Northumbria CRC) has a distinct, strategic approach to working with women offenders. It has a network of women’s community hubs across Northumbria. The approach helps to address the many inequalities women face both in the criminal justice system and in life.
The hubs are run in partnership with Changing Lives. Most women attend as part of their community order or licence. Other women who are not subject to statutory supervision but who still need support to make the necessary changes in their lives attend on a voluntary basis. The women receive support from probation staff and specialist workers from different agencies and can access a variety of services such as learning and skills, employment, health and housing to help address issues in their lives.
The programme delivered at the hubs is flexible to meet the needs of each woman. A typical session includes:
- Positive interactions - the women support each other and also learn from the probation staff and specialist workers who attend. By sharing experiences they learn that they are not alone and this can often be the first step to facilitating change.
- Core programme - all women participate in the programme, which is based on an understanding of the obstacles faced by women offenders together with approaches which support problem solving, develop confidence and address issues. It is designed to engage, motivate and support the women in developing their knowledge, personal skills and confidence.
- Specialist interventions – specialist workers from a range of agencies attend the hubs to deliver sessions on issues such as finance, benefit and debt, domestic violence, substance misuse, learning and skills, employment, health, mental health, and housing.
- Direction into community based services - the women are linked into community based services for ongoing support once they move on from the hub.