Innovation Exchange

Lanarkshire Community Bridges Project


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Lanarkshire Community Bridges Project was developed in partnership between HMP Addiewell and North Lanarkshire Council and funded by the Lanarkshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership. The aim of the project is to improve the quality of life for short term prisoners who are affected by alcohol or drug misuse, their families and communities. The project aims to put supports in place in order to reduce offending, for example, referral to addiction services, mental health agencies, welfare, family support and food banks. The project is open to prisoners serving less than 4 years who will receive no statutory intervention on release. This support will be ongoing according to the service users needs and is offered on a voluntary basis.

Theme: Community Safety

north lanarkshire council
  • Meet with service user in HMP Addiewell prior to their release to develop a community re-integration plan and to identify risks and needs prior to release. The assessment process takes into consideration child protection, adult protection and public protection issues.

  • Build positive relationships between service user and worker.

  • Offer of family support.

  • The introduction of the outcome star has been an invaluable tool for workers and service users as it creates an action plan which focuses on the service user’s immediate needs.

  • Community Bridges Project works in partnership with addiction services, housing services, DWP, police and prison colleagues.

  • This type of working promotes a holistic approach to the work undertaken by the Project.

The main benefit of Lanarkshire Community Bridges Project:


  • Consistent approach where workers are based between the prison and the community, offering continual support to service users ensuring a smooth transition from prison to community.

  • Joint working with partner agencies benefits service user and worker.

  • Having supports in place prior to release from prison has been shown to have a positive impact for individuals and their families because they don’t have to wait long periods to be seen because the work has already been started in prison.

The main lessons learned from the establishment of the project :

  • Importance of partnership working

  • Consistent working approach from prison to community

  • Positive relationships developed between worker and service user aides community re-integration

  • Impact of intervention on families has improved working relationships with families.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


John Young

Senior Social Worker

North Lanarkshire Council

01698 524881

Case study added to site: June 2016

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