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The Forward Trust

Organisation Summary

Business Sector:Criminal Justice & Health

Business Activities:Drug and alcohol services: support, advice, counselling, group work, intensive training

Business Location:London, Hull

Chief Executive:Mike Trace

Turnover:£21m (2016)


Legal structure:Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee

The Forward Trust

The Forward Trust helps people break the cycles of addiction and crime, giving them the opportunity to lead positive and fulfilling, drug and crime-free lives.

The Forward Trust delivers drug and alcohol services to support people both in prison and in the community. Forward’s employment services support ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction to find and keep a job.

In 1992, The Forward Trust (then RAPt) founded the first drug treatment facility in a UK prison. Today it is the leading provider of intensive, abstinence-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes in UK prisons, and provides high-quality drug and alcohol services to over 15,000 people every year within the criminal justice system and in the community.

The Forward Trust offers further support to ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction to find and keep a job through its award-winning employment programmes, including its own training and volunteering programmes.

The Forward Trust contributes to learning in the treatment of drug and alcohol issues, and the employment of ex-offenders through research and policy briefings. The interventions of The Forward Trust are proven to make a real difference. A comprehensive study undertaken in 2011 using Police National Computer (PNC) data, verified by the University of Manchester and Western Carolina University, showed that The Forward Trust achieved a 20% reduction in the numbers of released prisoners re-offending (using the Doncaster method of calculation), and a 65% reduction in the overall number of offences (using the Peterborough method of calculation). The Forward Trust’s employment service Blue Sky Agency, which works with employers to find jobs for ex-offenders, has been proven by the Ministry of Justice Data Lab to reduce re-offending by up to 23%.

E3M Member

The Forward Trust

Name:Mike Trace

Title :Chief Executive

Mike has an extensive background of working on and managing projects providing treatment to the homeless, drug users and offenders. From 1997-2001 Mike held the post of Deputy UK Anti-Drug Co-ordinator where he created a national drug strategy.

From 2000 to 2003, he was the chair of the the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). During 2001 to 2002, Mike also held the post of director of performance at the National Treatment Agency, set up by the UK government to oversee the rapid expansion of the drug treatment sector.

In 2002, Mike left to work for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna and in early 2003 returned to the UK, and the non-governmental sector. After a year as chief executive of The Blenheim Project, a provider of community treatment services in London, he took up his current post at The Forward Trust in 2004.

Mike continues to engage in policy issues as Co-ordinator of the International Drug Policy Forum, with an interest in the promotion of evidence-based drug policy.