2 July 2020

CNWL is launching a new service across its Surrey prison estate to help people with gambling problems within the criminal justice system.

The Trust’s Addictions Service has teamed up with the charity GambleAware, which has provided CNWL with three years of funding worth £1.03m, to extend the work of the CNWL National Problem Gambling Clinic into the prisons.

The service, which goes live in October, will provide a range of treatment options for those individuals identified with a gambling problem. This will include one-to-one and group counselling and where appropriate, more intensive treatment options.

Research suggests that that there could be a significant proportion of people harmed by gambling within the criminal justice system. This combined with a lack of awareness and access to treatment means many continue in their addiction and are more likely to go on to commit further crime.

This is the first time CNWL has extended the work of its National Problem Gambling Clinic into the secure environment, and is the first specialist NHS treatment service for gambling harms in prison.

Jody Lombardini, CNWL Head of Addictions said: “We are really pleased to have received this funding as we know the damaging impact that problem gambling has, not only on the individual but on their family and wider community. We hope this service will not only help gamblers address their addiction but also help to reduce the wider impact on the criminal justice system through the form of arrests, sentencing and incarceration.” 

Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware said: “The new collaboration between CNWL and GambleAware will link treatment for gambling harms with the wider healthcare provision within Surrey prison. 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."