Forward responds to new Drug Strategy
Friday 14 July 2017

Mike Trace, CEO of Forward, the leading social enterprise that empowers people to break the cycle of crime or addiction, said: “We commend the Government’s commitment to evidence-based drug treatment, as well as the introduction of a national Recovery Champion to drive improvements in rates of recovery from drug and alcohol dependence. Our experience at the front line of drug services in both prison and the community shows that for successful recovery to truly happen, we need more evidence based drug treatment programmes - such as our accredited prison substance misuse programmes. The Forward Trust (formerly RAPt) have been supporting people to build and maintain a life without drugs and alcohol for more than 10 years through our Recovery Support Service. This continued care can help build the resilience and strength needed to maintain recovery from addiction and live a positive and productive life with a job, family and community. Our dedicated employment services help people to break the cycle of re-offending and addiction through training and employment activities that are grounded in the real world of work. We believe that anyone is capable of transformational change, no matter how entrenched their addiction or prolific their crimes, and we hope that this new strategy will give more people the support they need to move forward with their lives."

An estimated 55% of prisoners commit offences connected to their drug tacking or alcohol dependence (1). Forward’s intensive prison rehabilitation programme shows an 18% drop in re conviction rates (2) yet less than 2% of the prison population have access to the programme. Forward offers employment opportunities to ex-offenders through our Blue Sky Agency with our employment model reducing reoffending by up to 23 %(3).

1) Ministry of Justice 2016

2) Kopak, A. M., Dean, L. V., Proctor, S. L., Miller, L., & Hoffmann, N. G. (2014) ‘Effectiveness of the rehabilitation for addicted prisoners trust (RAPt) programme’, Journal of Substance Use, [Online] pp.1-8. Available from: doi:10.3109/14659891.2014.904938.

3) Ministry of Justice Data Lab Re-offending analysis: Blue Sky Agency 2013