Supporting Women in Community Custody Units

Delivered as a public social partnership, Shine has been supporting the newly-established Community Custody Units (CCU) in Scotland, with mentors and prison-based champions embedded within service provision at both the Bella and Lillias centres.

The CCUs have been designed to promote independent living; empowering women to take control over elements of their daily living such as budgeting and cooking. Integrated within local communities, the centres enable links to local services to improve the transition beyond custody. The progressive approach is part of Scottish Prison Service’s strategy for women, to deliver gender-specific and trauma-informed services for women, recognising the likelihood of adversities and trauma.

Shine is proud to be part of what the Scottish Government’s Justice Minister Keith Brown called “a step change in the way Scotland supports women in custody”.

One of Shine’s mentors speaks of supporting an individual who was referred from the Bella CCU in Dundee: “During her time spent at Bella, she has thrived and recognises the advantages of serving her time in custody here. For example, she was able to create strong bonds with fellow women in the shared houses, and interacted with outside services such as mindfulness sessions. She was able to attend appointments with critical services such as DWP, to help forward plan for life back in the community”.

Shine worked alongside staff in the CCU and an initial action plan was agreed. Release planning involved support with a gate pick-up to transport the individual back to their community and providing a Shine mobile phone with connectivity to enhance digital inclusion. Shine continues to support the individual with both practical and emotional support following the transition from Bella to the community.

8th March 2023