An eighteen-month evaluation and treatment outcome study for the HSE on 40 drug-using women admitted to The Dochas Centre has identified several areas of concern regarding the care received before, during and after their admittance to the prison.
The report found that upon entering the centre, women had high positive expectations but later expressed criticism of the service which they had received. One key issue noted in the report is an apparent lack of communication between the various in-reach services to the prison. Although the stakeholders felt that the range and number of agencies providing such services is sufficient, there is not enough awareness of the other services providing support to one individual and poor overall outcomes result for that individual.
Homelessness was identified as a significant problem among the women who participated in the study, and it was felt that secure accommodation must first be achieved before these women could begin to address their wider individual needs.
Ultimately it was suggested that a case management approach should be explored as a way of meeting the needs of women with such varying problems coming out of the prison system.
Read the report here.