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Archive for February, 2010

Karen update

After the last update, I continued to visit Karen and when she was released after her 28 day recall I picked her up and took her to see her probation officer and her alcohol worker . She had decided, upon release, she didn’t want to stay in a privately rented property but that she wanted to stay with her boyfriend. I could see that staying there was going to make avoiding alcohol very difficult so I discussed this with her and she said that her boyfriend wasn’t drinking so she didn’t think it would be a problem. I tried to meet up with her everyday and see she was doing ok, she was trying so hard not to drink as much as she usually did and, although her boyfriend was actually drinking, she managed this for a couple of days which was a fantastic achievement for her. Unfortunately, I was unable to get hold of her for a few days and called her probation worker who hadn’t seen her either.

I knew this was a bad sign so I went up to her boyfriend’s flat but neither of them were there. I had a wander round town to see if I could find her and bumped into her boyfriend, he said she had gone up to A&E as she was really ill. I called the hospital and they informed me that Karen wasn’t in A&E anymore but they couldn’t give me any information. About half an hour later Karen’s probation worker let me know that Karen had been arrested for breaching the terms of her licence. She had turned up at hospital and asked for medical treatment, she was quite ill and in a lot of pain. She was given some treatment and then asked to leave the hospital as she was intoxicated. She refused to leave the premises as she felt too ill. The police were called and she was arrested. When she was checked out by the police doctor she was taken straight back to hospital for further treatment as she was genuinely really poorly. She got frustrated because she felt she wasn’t being listened to and, when she gets frustrated, she struggles to articulate this clearly and she ended up getting very distressed. She was arrested for breaching her anti social behaviour order as she was “causing alarm and distress to others” and taken back to prison. I visited her and she was very upset to be back in custody, she couldn’t understand why she had been arrested. She had tried to seek medical attention because she was unwell and felt like she had been dismissed because she is an alcoholic; she told me that one of the hospital staff that dealt with her had told her that “people like you don’t deserve medical treatment”. She is currently waiting the outcome of a hearing which will decide how much of her sentence she will have to serve on this recall.

Fiona, support worker

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