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Through the Gate works for Paul

A former prolific offender says he is determined to leave his criminal past behind him following the confidence shown in him by probation workers.
 
Paul Paget, 53, has a long history of offending behaviour between 1975 and 2016, being convicted of almost 200 offences.
 
Paul has a history of not complying with probation services, resulting in many recalls to prison over time, but that changed in 2017 when he was due for his latest release and was offered support from specialist Through the Gate support workers.
 
Through the Gate is a service delivered by Community Rehabilitation Companies to prisoners in the last three months of their sentence, assessing their needs as they transition to life in the community. Inside, Paul was supported by Pact, which works on behalf of Wales Community Rehabilitation Company, and subsequently Probation Service Officer Fran Lewis and local charity Gwalia.
 
Paul said: “I have been in and out of justice institutions for the last 40 years or so, since I was about 12-years-old. I’ve never really wanted to change my ways before. But this time it was different.”
 
Paul’s biggest issue was accommodation. He had nowhere to go. But on release, he was met by Pact which supported him to find a suitable place to live immediately. And following work between Gwalia and Fran, Paul found a long-term place to call home soon after. 
Paul added: “I’ve now been out of prison and out of trouble for ten months – the longest I’ve ever been ‘clean’. I think the difference has been that people believe in me and keep me engaged. In particular, Fran recognised that I need to make small steps.
 
“The new accommodation is exactly what I need to get back on my feet again and start to rebuild my life.
 
“A big part in my rehabilitation is the confidence that Fran has shown in me. I’ve had lots of offender managers over the years but I’ve not wanted to repay that confidence before. Most of the time, if people had given me an inch, I’d have stolen a yard. But because Fran always has time for me and goes that extra mile consistently, it makes me not want to let her down.”
 
As well as help with accommodation, Paul has also received support with managing his finances and health and attended an international conference to showcase UK best practice in rehabilitation.
 

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