Brian was one of the first prisoners to sign up to the PSP service at Low Moss. With only nine weeks until his liberation, the team worked with Brian to plan his release and life thereafter in the community.

The 32-year-old, from Glasgow, has spent the last 12 years of his life in and out of prison, serving both long and short-term sentences for various offences, including violence and possession of a knife.

He had a history of substance misuse, having smoked hash since the age of 11, as well as taking valium and crack. By the age of 16 he was addicted to heroin.

Brian says: “During the last sentence my circumstances changed. There were two deaths in my family and I genuinely wanted to change. I went to work groups in the jail and one in particular helped me.”

Describing what it was like to leave prison this time around, he said: “Your heid’s bursting and you’re unsure what’s going to happen. This time I had PSP there to take me to my doctors and then to ma grannies. I never had that before – I was just put out the door.

“It’s a great feeling walking out the front door of the prison, but then reality hits. There are so many wee things that you need to sort out. Housing, benefits, meds, and add all these wee things together and it feels like an uphill struggle from the start.”

In preparation for his release the PSP team worked with Brian to identify the issues in his life which were causing concern. For Brian, these were homelessness, addiction and bereavement.

As Brian had been in custody for two and a half years months his doctor’s practice had deregistered him. He was told he’d have to come back the following week to register and would not be able to get his prescription until then.

He explained: “The day I got out the NHS told me I had an appointment with my doctor at 10am. I turned up there and the doctor had no appointment fae me and I wasnae on the books anymore.

“I was told to come back later, but when I saw the doctor later on he had nae fax from the prison and he widnae give me my subbie (prescription). The PSP spoke to the doctor and phoned the jail, and things got sorted.

On release from prison, Brian slept on his grandmother’s couch for 9 weeks and was supported by Housing First – a Turning Point Scotland service which supports chaotic drug users in the community to manage their tenancy.

Brian says: “I am lucky I have my granny’s couch to sleep on. What if you don’t have family? Where are you meant to go? The PSP filled out the paperwork for me to be referred to Housing First, and helped me by meeting up each week.”

Brian will continue to receive guidance from Housing First in the hope of gaining his own flat. He will also receive one-to-one support to maintain his tenancy, such as emphasising basic financial and life skills, including paying bills and budgeting.

Brian also faced challenges with regards to accessing benefits when he was released from prison.

“It took 7 weeks for my benefits to start so family supported my through that and kept me going,” he said. “By the time I get ma money I’ll owe it all out and it takes time to get your feet. PSP have helped along the way but how are you meant to survive without family and benefits?”

The PSP intervened to resolve the issue surrounding Brian’s benefits by taking him to Grand Central Savings branch in Glasgow, where he was able to open an account so his benefits can be paid.