Ex-Prisoners Recovering from Addiction (EPRA)

Blueprints for the treatment and throughcare of prisoners with histories of drug and alcohol dependence.

Previous research has shown a ‘cliff-edge’ of support for released prisoners recovering from substance abuse. Whilst prison interventions can effectively initiate recovery journeys, prisoners’ hopes for transformation become unrealistic when they are released homeless and unsupported. The Ex-prisoners Recovering from Addiction (EPRA) Expert Working Group, chaired by Lord Patel of Bradord, was thus set up to produce evidence-based blueprints for the effective treatment and throughcare of prisoners recovering from addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

In the course of its work, EPRA has considered reviews of the research evidence, received reports on promising approaches around the country and had feedback from focus groups of male and female prisoners with histories of substance misuse. Reflecting different needs and opportunities, four blueprints have been developed separated by gender (men and women) and sentence length (short and longer sentences).

The EPRA Report details the four blueprints, provides a synthesis of the evidence base underpinning them, and presents a cost-benefit analysis for each model. The EPRA Working Group believes that evaluated trials of these blueprints will demonstrate clear benefits and cost savings, by transforming post-release support for prisoners who seek to make fundamental changes to their lives.

Project details


EPRA report (PDF , 1,051kb)



  • EPRA working group



The EPRA Working Group met and considered drafts of the report over 2016 to 2018.

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Associated Research   

The National Evaluation of Pilot Drug Recovery Wings

The three-year study aims to assess what impact DRWs have on prisoners’ drug or alcohol dependency and their impact on prisoners’ re-offending.