GambleAware and CNVL Supporting Gambling Addicts in Prisons

July 13, 2020 Matt Speakman

GambleAware has decided to support people impacted by problem gambling across the criminal justice system. They have decided to take this step in partnership with the Central and North West London NHS Trust (CNWL).

They have decided to provide CNWL with three years of funding worth £1.03m with the aim to support the work of the CNWL National Problem Gambling Clinic in jails.

Gambling in a prisonAccording to GambleAware’s CEO, Marc Etches, the partnership between GamblerAware and CNWL should provide healthcare within prisons and provide support to people who suffer from problem gambling.

“This reflects our strategic aim for community services. We want to make it easier for people harmed by gambling to access the help and support that they need” – explained Etches.

In October, the partnership is launching a support program, offering a variety of recovery options for those who suffer from a gambling addiction such as one-to-one and community therapy. The service is the first NHS gambling addiction support for prisoners.

Jody Lombardini who is the Head of Addictions at CNWL noted that they are happy to receive this funding as they are aware of how gambling addiction can influence not only the person who is struggling with that addiction but also those who are part of their family or community.

Lombardini is hopeful that this service will not only help gamblers finally put an end to their addiction but also help to reduce the wider impact on the criminal justice system through the form of arrests, sentencing, and incarceration.

Research Indicates Prisoners with Gambling Addiction More Likely to Commit Another Crime

The reason for this project is because according to research there is a significant number of people who are struggling with problem gambling within the criminal justice systems. The worst thing about that is that the lack of awareness and access to medical treatment could impact sufferers and continue their addiction. This, later on, can cause them to commit another crime.

More About GambleAware and CNVL

For those who are not familiar, GambleAware is an independent charity organization that uses assessment, service, planning, evaluation, and outcome reporting in order to provide support to those suffering from gambling addiction.

The organization is guided by an independent expert board of trustees, the majority of them are healthcare workers. GambleAware has also opened a National Gambling Helpline: 0808 8020 133 – were problem gamblers could seek help.

On the other hand, while GambleAware is only dealing with gambling-related health issues, CNVL is a large and diverse organization that provides health care services to those who have some physical or mental issues.

The organization has over 7000 members, provides over 300 services, and operates across 150 sites. The two organizations have decided to join forces and help prisoners who are struggling with gambling addiction. The idea is to provide them the treatment they need in order to help them avoid committing another crime in the future.

This type of gambling-related help is quite unique in its nature because until now no organization has decided to focus on people inside the jail and provide them the health treatment which is not easily accessible to them as to those people who are not convicted.

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