Meet Dave*, he started here 7 months ago, but this recounts the first time we met…
Dave’s got that particular look (so often our guys have it) and once you’ve seen it, you don’t forget it.
He’s 26, just out of Prison, HMP Exeter first 2 months and last 4 months at HMP Channings Wood. His referral notes and risk assessment suggest a violent man, who previously attacked his partner and police officers, and likes an alcohol/cocaine cocktail to get him in the mood!
Dave’s probation officer has driven him out here, he’s spotted something in Dave, a glimmer of hope, a suggestion that Dave wants to get to a better life.
As ever there’s a small (tiny) window of opportunity, we have to work quickly to underpin Dave’s limited period of motivation.
“Mate I’ve been f#@ked over, lost my flat after 6 weeks inside, all me belongings, clothes gone, I’m on me arse”
We’ve got about an hour to get this guy enthused about LandWorks, to understand that we are not authority, although of course we have rules. It is essential to get across that we are so very different to anything he will have experienced previously.
I really like the team to work with people for who they can be, not who they were.
We’re in the workshop, he likes the sign up in the rafters ‘Un-f#@k the system’
I’m still trying to work out if this is going to work (it’s an on the move assessment as we walk round the site, free from office-based interview rooms) … I ask, “Tell me about your drug use?” I quite like my back-catalogue of questions, simple, to the point, and they often provoke interesting answers.
“Nutting, not on nutting.” There’s a hint of Scouse (I make a note to talk about football) and I don’t believe him (nothing to do with Liverpool) just his eyes… “What about weed” I ask?
“Oh, yeah bit of weed for me depression.” Okay, I’ll park that for now… but weed, anxiety/depression and mental health!! We can work on that.
I like him, there’s’ a bit about Dave…
I’ve got enough, I’m sure he will engage. We swap phone numbers and set a start date.
Then the real work begins….
Our resettlement programme is about creating community, it is bespoke and holistic… Understanding risk, but not solely governed by it. We are often able to work in that ‘grey area’ (safely) where statutory bodies are not able to go.
We work hard at understanding the lifestyle below the headline crime… what was really going on… This informs how we can best allocate our limited resources, identifying where support is most needed.
The placement journey is monitored from day one. We are always updating, always learning. To do this job you need to be reactive and proactive, delivering support in the immediacy of a crisis, often averting a reoffending incident.
We work in a person-centered way, where kindness, empathy, compassion, genuineness, and regard for others, are all greatly valued.
Above all we build trust relationships with people on a placement at LandWorks.
Currently, we’re recruiting for a Resettlement Manager; to not only lead and develop this support but build upon our programme of graduate support. We are still in touch with nearly all of the people who’ve had placements here from the start, in 2013.
Could you work in this way, with challenging individuals? Do you have the required skill set? Is this something that would interest you?
Or do you know somebody who has this sort of experience and a desire to work in this unusual work environment?
Please share this information.
Application details on our website here
*‘Dave’ is actually an amalgam of some recent trainees’ stories, but I think gives a true example of life at LandWorks
7th February 2022