Claire comes from an unstable background. Her relationship with her mother was strained due to her own issues with alcohol, and she grew up without the parental support and guidance needed.
She started misusing alcohol and cannabis from 14 and, by the time she was 21, had progressed to using heroin and crack cocaine on a daily basis. She was also involved in a long-term abusive relationship, from which she had a young child.
Claire was engaging erratically with her local drug services and was prescribed methadone in the community but, after detoxing herself prior to custody, came into prison unprescribed and free from heroin and crack cocaine. However, she was misusing alcohol and cannabis daily.
She is now serving life imprisonment for the murder of her partner. She will sit the parole board in seven years. Her child is in the care of his uncle, and there is restricted contact, due to the nature of her crime.
When Claire first came to HMP Styal in 2012, she did not engage with the team initially, and it was not until early 2013 that she began to fully co-operate.
Claire was highly motivated and focused on long term recovery, taking advantage of all support available to her, to better herself and build a future for her release. Before starting RAMP, Claire had already completed several courses and programmes such as SMART recovery, Legal High Awareness, BBV training, and Level 1 Peer Mentoring. She was also a ‘Listener’, offering support to other women in the prison.
When starting RAMP, Claire showed an excellent level of self-awareness around her negative behaviour and destructive thought patterns. She was very open-minded and displayed a great level of honesty and willingness. She was a great asset to the group and continued to grow.
It was identified that Claire possessed the qualities required to become a RAMP Co-Facilitator and, near the end of treatment, the opportunity was put forward to her. She accepted and, since December 2013, has been working alongside the RAMP Prison team, supporting them in administration duties, as well as co-facilitating on the groups.
Claire continues to shine in this role and has been an asset. She is now also a Peer Mentor and a Recovery Champion, providing prisoners with a role model to aspire to, and shows an admirable determination to be the best she can. She advocates recovery in prison, and continues to work on her own personal development. She recently applied for funding to start a qualification in CBT.
On her release from prison, Claire plans to continue working with addiction, helping and supporting others to find the new way of life she herself has found.