This is an area in which many older offenders need a lot of support. More than 80% of older offenders have long-standing illnesses or disabilities. Over half suffer from a mental disorder and 30% have a diagnosis of depression. All of the "soft" activities that we provide through group work give a welcome diversion from prison life and ultimately appear to help reduce stress. Some of the soft activities we provide include knitting (which also provides further benefits as an in cell activity), and craft activities such as decoupage, origami and marbling ink wrapping paper.
We offer a great deal of practical help with health issues, such as providing factual information on diet and nutrition, drop-in sessions for general health and well-being, awareness of the risks of alcohol and smoking and helping offenders work towards their own personal targets. We also give Extend sessions, providing gentle exercises to music, and chair based exercise sessions. RECOOP has also arranged gym sessions for the over 50’s in prisons, as many older prisoners feel intimidated by the younger inmates using the gym and are put off using it themselves, and devised relaxation sessions to help reduce mental and physical stress.
Increasingly, older prisoners are keen to take responsibility for their own health and Seniors Forums in prisons have organised health awareness sessions.
We are currently working with the Ramblers to deliver a walking programme in prisons for older offenders. If you are interested in volunteering on the programme please contact us.
Below are some statistics which highlight the need to effectively support this group in accessing appropriate services (Impact Pathways website July 2015):
8% of prisoners suffer from schizophrenia or a delusional disorder, compared with 0.5% of the general population.
45% of prisoners suffer from a neurotic disorder (e.g. depression) compared with 14% of the general population.
More than 70% of the prison population has two or more mental health disorders.
Male prisoners are 14 times more likely to have two or more disorders than men in general, and female prisoners are 35 times more likely than women in general.
The suicide rate in prisons is almost 15 times higher than in the general population: in 2002 the rate was 143 per 100,000 compared to 9 per 100,000 in the general population.
Approx 50% of adult offenders screen positively for childhood ADHD with 19% displaying persistent symptoms.
- Offenders with a diagnosis of ADHD or those who present with symptoms are involved in 8x more aggressive incidents than the general offender population.
Impact Pathways offer practitioners and service users access to organisations who offer help and support with both mental and physical health matters in the Gloucestershire, Avon, Bristol and Somerset areas.
- Lobster Pot: “an excellent resource providing a creative range of activities, support & assessment of need” HMIP https://t.co/NOfH8Fr1Hx10:25am, Feb 23, 2017
- Excited to be working with @BrookdaleAging and @OsborneNY supporting communities to better integrate re-entering older adults in New York9:23am, Jan 23, 2017
- RECOOP invited to work with detainees at IRC The Verne providing mental and physical activities for older population https://t.co/ia6RNij8il11:11am, Dec 05, 2016
- “Looking at things through a different set of eyes” Gov HMP Ford on RECOOP’s ‘Achieving Better Outcomes’ training https://t.co/xZT1CA6Nta11:04am, Nov 29, 2016
- Delighted to have had @RNIB in the Lobster Pot talking about sight loss & services available from Action for Blind People. Come back soon!8:50am, Nov 18, 2016
- Artwork created by RECOOP Buddy Support Worker selected for @KoestlerTrust @southbankcentre exhibition https://t.co/VDmjgA8dZR10:59am, Nov 17, 2016
- 100% success rate for participants in HMP Send on Healthy Eating & Living in Prison programme developed by RECOOP https://t.co/LZsEbWJ5V79:30am, Oct 25, 2016
- Looking forward to attending @LangleyHseTrust @kainoscommunity Annual Review Launch & working alongside you in the Criminal Justice System11:01am, Oct 11, 2016
- RECOOP's Devon Buddy Scheme included as example of good practice in recent "Seeing prisoners as Assets" resource published by ADASS11:51am, Sep 28, 2016
- RECOOP and the Buddy Support Scheme is highlighted as an example of excellence in IMB yearly report https://t.co/Ms7QrwU1FU12:32pm, Aug 16, 2016