Prison inmates are often seen as society’s failures; people who can be cast aside and forgotten about or who are feared, condemned and despised for the bad choices they have made in life. However, the UCKG HelpCentre believes that no one is beyond help, and has acted on that view by establishing the Rescue of Dignity Group (ROD).
This group, which has been running in the UK since 1997, has a simple and clear objective: to support inmates in order to prevent re-offending. This is done through a holistic programme that follows offenders from the point of sentencing right through to imprisonment and release.
The DBS-checked volunteers work with the ex-offenders to help them resume their place in the community through mentoring and a resettlement programme. This includes support in training, employment and referrals.
When an individual is imprisoned, it can also have a diverse impact on the lives of family members, affecting them financially, emotionally and sometimes even physically. This is why the work of the ROD Group extends to the families of inmates.
Over the years, we have found that supporting and helping prisoners to maintain healthy family ties has had a positive impact on enabling ex-offenders to resettle within the community, therefore reducing the chance of reoffending.
This is why on visits, we provide families of inmates with advice on how to cope with the imprisonment of their loved ones. We also organise events for their benefit and refer them to third-party organisations where applicable.
ROD’s service and support includes:
• Regular visits to prisons and detention centres
• Support through letter writing
• Mentoring and befriending support
• ‘Meet and greet’ at prison gates upon release
• Court attendance support for families and friends of inmates
• Referral support for housing, substance misuse, training, employment, etc.
• 12-step programme