WCADA has been delivering this service in the prisons since 2001, beginning with one staff member at HMP Swansea to what is now a team of 21 staff based across four of the Welsh public prisons. The landscape has changed considerably during this time, with the service originally being commissioned directly by the Ministry of Justice, then with NOMS Cymru.

The Dyfodol Service, implemented in 2016, is funded by the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner and HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service). An integrated partnership service led by G4S, together with WCADA and Kaleidoscope.

Vital harm minimisation advice and information is provided to all prisoners on reception, where the Dyfodol services are explained and referrals taken from those who wish to receive support for substance misuse issues.

The teams cannot work in isolation and referrals are made to other departments in the prison, such as healthcare for substitute prescribing and health needs, mental health services and learning skills to address other issues identified. Close collaborative working with Offender Management and Sentence Planning teams are necessary, together with building good relationships with disciplined staff that often refer to the service on behalf of the prisoners in their care.

The work in the local remands of HMP Cardiff and HMP Swansea is quite different to that delivered at HMP Prescoed and HMP Usk. The local remands ‘Cat B’ prisons have a high turnover of prisoners due to the short length of sentences and those held on remand until their cases are heard in court. The work at Prescoed ‘Cat D’ focuses on the issues facing prisoners leading up to release, many of whom will have served long sentences and Usk, a ‘Cat C’ vulnerable prisoner establishment accommodates a higher risk population.

Continuity of care is crucial to providing on-going support and this is where the Dyfodol teams in the community are crucial in providing on-going support for prisoners on release to ensure their recovery journey continues and ultimately contributes to reducing reoffending.