The Resettlement Passport: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Rehabilitation is critical in ensuring prison leavers don't reoffend and can comfortably transition back into the community. This is why the government introduced The Resettlement Passport as part of the Reducing Reoffending Programme.

prisoner rehabilitation
This article explores what The Resettlement Passport is, how it works and how it'll contribute to delivering the Ministry of Justice's vision to replace prison legacy systems with more specific, clearer, faster digital services by 2024 and ensure increasingly high-quality data.

What Is The Resettlement Passport? 

The Resettlement Passport is designed to support prisoners when they're released from prison by gathering the critical information and services needed to successfully reintegrate into society.

It also aims to reduce the risk of reoffending by allowing the prison leaver to take ownership of their rehabilitation and reintegration.

They can set goals for themselves and track their progress towards achieving them. This gives them a better chance of success as they can set their timeline and work towards their objectives.

Ultimately, once the prison leaver has worked towards their objectives, they should have the skills needed to become employable, reducing the risk of reoffending and allowing them to transition back into society.

 How Does the Resettlement Passport Work?

The Resettlement Passport is a form of identification that helps prisoners access essential services such as housing, employment and healthcare. It also contains basic information about the prisoner, such as their name, date of birth, National Insurance number and release date.

It's designed to benefit the prison leaver and support workers in several ways. For the support workers, The Resettlement Passport provides them with the information they need to work with prisoner leavers on an individual basis.

For example, they can learn about the prison leaver's particular requirements and skills they want to focus on to find employment. They can then take the right steps to ensure each individual has the opportunities needed to see progress.

For the prisoner leaver, the passport provides access to support services, such as a resettlement worker, advice on finding employment and housing, and information about drug and alcohol services.

It's also a way for released prisoners to prove their identity to potential employers and landlords, helping reduce the stigma associated with having a criminal record.
The passport also reminds released prisoners that they aren't alone and that support is available. It serves as a symbol of their journey from prison to their new life in the community.

It's essential for helping prisoners successfully re-enter society upon their release. Providing access to critical services and support can reduce the risk of reoffending and make the transition back into the community easier.

In the past, prisoner leavers often relied on others to help them integrate into society because the transition felt overwhelming. Although The Resettlement Passport isn't designed to be a silver bullet, it has improved prisoner reoffending and resettlement outcomes. 

It has also enabled timely access to prisoner information and evidence of progress, which has helped staff support prisoners on their rehabilitative journey and empowered prisoners to engage better with services.

However, this is just one piece of the puzzle. Many other moving parts contribute towards reducing crime reoffences in England and Wales and allowing prison leavers to transition back into society.