We support serving prisoners through our Prisoner Support Service at HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill , HMYOI Aylesbury and in HMP Woodhill.
In HMP Springhill prisoners make an appointment to meet with the Prisoner Support Volunteer on a one to one basis to assess their requests for grants towards a whole range of requests; from a new shirt to a qualification that will lead to employment upon release. In other establishments men apply for grants via an ‘application’ system with Prisoner Support Volunteers in liaison.
No grants are paid to the individual, they are paid to the NOMS Agency and go into a holding account until the prisoner has sufficient funds to start the training course or enrol for the further education course. Our funds do not cover the full amount of many of the courses but they make a substantial contribution and ‘being part way there’ attracts other funders and gives the prisoner confidence to make further applications.
We work closely with the prison finance departments and are aware of the financial background of each applicant using a secure email system. Some prisoners have very few resources of their own; work in prison pays an average salary of £10 per week. A successful request to BACO to help with some essential items can help to bring about a change in attitude, it adds to self-esteem and self-worth.
BACO works with probation clients of the National Probation Service through their offices in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
All grant applications are made to the BACO Grants Administrator using a secure Ministry of Justice (MOJ) system from the Offender Manager or Probation Officer for processing and approval by the BACO Committee. The Managers/Officers should be of the view that the grant will help the client to make progress in their return to life outside a secure establishment and the grant will contribute to their rehabilitation, help to change their attitude and to prevent re-offending.
Contributory Grants towards the cost of:
- Trade/college courses
- Trade tools , painting/decorating, barbering = self employment
- Full driving licences
- Identity cards, citizen cards, birth certificates
- CSCS cards (Construction Skills Certification Scheme), health and safety requirement needed for anyone wanting to pick up labouring on a building site
- Subsistence – to bridge the gap between release and receiving benefits
- Essentials for household set up
- Travel costs to work
- Deposit for accommodation/rent arrears
- Essential items of clothing for work interviews.
- Including replacement of that lost at time of arrest
- For those in Residential Rehabilitation
- For families including childrens’ schoolwear
- For interviews
In 2020 operating remotely due to prisons being inaccessible to our volunteers due to the corona virus, the average grant was £86.