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Evaluation of Kairos WWT Prison In-reach and Post-release Floating Support Service for women


KAIROS Women Working Together (WWT), Lloyds TSB

Total value of project


Project team

Dr Geraldine Brady, Dr Geraldine Brown, Dr Elizabeth Bos


KAIROS WWT, HMP Peterborough

Duration of project

01/06/2015 - 31/04/2018

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Project overview

Our objective was to provide an independent evaluation of Kairos WWT prison in-reach project at HMP Peterborough and Coventry based Floating Support Service.

The prison in-reach service involves a Kairos’ project worker making monthly visits to HMP Peterborough, meeting with female prisoners with a link to Coventry (pre or post-sentence) who have a history of or vulnerability to sex working. On release from prison, support is provided by Kairos Floating Support Service, offering a brokering service for mainstream agencies, providing a member of staff to advocate on behalf of women.

The evaluation aim was to capture the work of this service focusing on organisational systems and processes and capturing the experiences of the staff and the women supported.

Project objectives

  • Examine the process by which the intervention is provided (including partnership working and training needs).
  • Explore service users’ (women’s) experiences of engaging with the support provided by the prison in-reach project.
  • Identify the potential benefits associated with an intervention in a prison setting (and beyond) for service users, for prison staff, for HMP Peterborough, and other stakeholders.
  • Identify potential challenges to the provision of the Prison In-reach intervention in a prison setting for service users, for prison staff, for HMP Peterborough, and other stakeholders.
  • Explore potential frameworks to evaluate service users experience, e.g. readiness for desistance, recovery.
  • Capture the perceptions of significant others/family on service users engagement with the intervention.
  • Consider the need for future provision of a prison in-reach intervention with this client group.
  • Evaluate the benefits of linking the Prison In-reach service with the Post-prison Floating Support Service.
  • For women who enter prison to serve a custodial sentence, there is a need for clear coordinated preventative action in and after prison to decrease the risk of re-offending (SEU, 2002). National Offender Management Service 'Believing we Can' recognised the need for strong partnership working with voluntary and community organisations to achieve this end (NOMS, 2007).

    This evaluation contributes to an evidence base for the delivery of the prison in-reach service delivered by KAIROS WWT in HMP Peterborough. The evaluation carried out by a multi-disciplinary and the action research model utilised contributed to informing the practice of KAIROS and all stakeholders throughout the evaluation, the limitations and challenges of the service as well as successes. 

    The study also offered evidence to understand and shape how the support provided enables service-users to access health care (physical, mental and sexual), welfare agencies, housing agencies, substance misuse services, legal advice and provisions for furthering education and training. Through a collaborative approach, the evaluation team supported building evaluation into the everyday practice of KAIROS WWT, which supports the sustainability of the service. The establishment of a positive working relationship provided learning opportunities and an opportunity for a collaborative approach to the dissemination of the key findings. In addition, the evaluation supported the organisation's wider aim to support, empower, and give voice to vulnerable women in Coventry.

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