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Essex Probation

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The Bridge: intensive work for those on the brink of another prison sentence

The Bridge is for an offender who, for whatever reasons, can’t/won’t/doesn’t follow the rules.

Either the courts are likely to be considering a short custodial sentence for current offences, or Probation staff may be planning recall to prison for those on licence, or a return to court for breach.

Reoffending rates for those sentenced to short custodial sentences are significantly higher than for those receiving community sentences. The Bridge is an intensive community programme designed and developed in Essex to address this by providing the courts with an alternative to short custodial sentences which effectively punishes and rehabilitates offenders, substantially reducing their likelihood of reoffending.

The Bridge works intensively with offenders to motivate them to change, through a concentrated four-phase programme addressing Engagement, Following the Rules, Consequences and Reintegration. Their engagement is reinforced by working with an appointed mentor and the involvement of external agencies, to drive home the impact and consequences of their offending and assist them in dealing with their individual needs and preparing them for education, training or employment.

The Bridge

Taking the offender out of their normal sphere of activity, it is expected that they attend The Bridge in central Essex, and take part in a concentrated period of work which is presented to them as a last chance to learn.

Some of the work is similar to Probation programmes. The circumstances are not.

The Bridge is delivered by SOVA on behalf of Essex CRC.