Community Support Project

Really, it’s simple: when someone invests in you as a human, you respect them. You respect what they say.

Jalloh, Community Support Participant

The severe harm caused by detention is well-documented. In the vast majority of cases, it is unnecessary.

It is cheaper, more humane and more effective to uphold the rights and liberty of migrants while their cases are progressing and to provide them with casework support in the community.

We urgently need more safe, humane and cost-effective alternatives to detention.

Since 2014, Detention Action has been running the Community Support Project (CSP), an alternative to detention scheme that works with people who have experienced or are at risk of detention. The participants in the project all have significant barriers to removal and begin working with the CSP up to three months before their release from prison. 

A member of the CSP team addresses the particular needs and issues raised by each participant and works with them to create a transition plan setting out the goals and actions that need to take place. Ongoing assistance is provided by the project which takes into account the varied emotional and practical needs of each participant, including support in consequential thinking techniques and advocacy with statutory and non-statutory bodies on their behalf.

The CSP has shown that, when case management principles are followed, alternatives can work for even the most complex situations, including people with previous convictions and barriers to removal.

  • 95% of CSP participants have not re-offended since joining the project. This figure compares to the fact that around half of all people leaving prison reoffend within 12 months
  • 83% of CSP participants have successfully completed their time on the project

Feedback from the client on how effectively we are working with them is vital. This is built into the structure of the support we give and the plan of action they write for themselves upon release.

Tony, Community Support Manager