Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the following position – Prison Recovery Lead Coordinator - June 5th, 2024

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the following position

Prison Recovery Lead Coordinator (Mental Health and Substance Use Issues)

Professional 5

School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health

3 Year Fixed Term Contract

Dublin City University

Dublin City University (DCU) is a leading innovative European University, proud to be one of the world’s leading Young Universities. DCU is known as Ireland’s University of Impact, with a mission to ‘transform lives and societies’ and focuses on addressing global challenges in collaboration with key national and international partners and stakeholders.

DCU has over 20,000 students in five faculties spread across three academic campuses in the Glasnevin-Drumcondra area of North Dublin. Thanks to its innovative approach to teaching and learning, the University offers a ‘transformative student experience’ that helps to develop highly sought-after graduates. DCU is currently No. 1 in Ireland for Graduate Employment Rate, and for graduate income (CSO).

DCU is a research-intensive University and is home to a number of SFI-funded Research Centres. The University participates in a range of European and international research partnerships. DCU is also the leading Irish university in the area of technology transfer as reflected by licensing of intellectual property.

As a ‘People First’ institution, DCU is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – a University that helps staff and students to thrive. The University is a leader in terms of its work to increase access to education, and is placed in the world’s Top 10 for reducing inequalities in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

Overview of the department

 The Dublin North, North East Recovery College (DNNERC), School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health, based in the Healthy Living Centre, Dublin City University, provides transformative mental health recovery education programmes to adults and young people mainly throughout the North Dublin, Louth and Meath areas, in Ireland, though this reach has been expanding over the past two years. For example, the College is leading an Erasmus Plus Cooperation Partnership with several European countries. Launched in October 2016 with the progressive aim of creating an inclusive culture of recovery education within the community, by August 2018 the college established robust, evidence-based recovery education and community development programming throughout three counties and beyond The Recovery College provides empowering and transformative recovery-based education to anyone with an interest in Mental Health and Substance Misuse Recovery. Taking a Co-Production approach, the work of the Recovery College is informed by a combination of Recovery, Adult Education, Rights Based and Community Development Principles. Website:

The School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health leads in advancing population and patient health, inclusion and well-being through education, research, practice, and policy development. Our multi-disciplinary and multi-professional School has gained national and international recognition for its diverse range of innovative undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional development programmes across Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health. The programmes currently offered are:

  • Sc. in Nursing across four disciplinary areas: Children’s and General Integrated Nursing, General Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, and Intellectual Disability Nursing
  • Higher Diploma (Post-Registration) in Children’s Nursing
  • Sc. in Health and Society
  • Sc. in Child and Family Health and Wellbeing
  • Sc. in Health and Social Inclusion
  • Sc. in Specialist Nursing
  • Sc. in Advanced Nursing Practice (Saudi Arabia)
  • Sc. and Doctorate in Psychotherapy
  • Professional Diploma in Clinical Supervision
  • Certificate in Homelessness Prevention & Intervention
  • Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education and Sexual Wellbeing
  • Stand-alone professional development modules for healthcare practitioners
  • Certificate in Peer Support working in Mental Health

The School’s portfolio of research inquiry delves into every aspect of 21st century health and well-being across nursing, community health, psychotherapy, and societal health innovations, to improve the health, inclusion, and well-being for everyone in society.


Role Profile

 The Prison Recovery Co-ordinator post offers the successful candidate the opportunity to work as part of a dynamic team interested in developing, delivering and promoting a pilot mental health and substance use recovery initiative across 4 prison settings over a three year period. The post has been funded by and developed in partnership with the Irish Prison Service. The Recovery College will continue to partner with the Prison Service in the implementation of this project. The Co-ordinator will be based in the Dublin North, North East Recovery College, the administrative hub for the overall project.

The Recovery College/Recovery Academy Ireland partnership will be co-leads for the project working with an established steering group comprising national project partners and a consortium of recovery education facilitators. The postholder will manage the design, development, and co-ordination of the prison recovery community initiative. The post holder will work with the Steering Group and key stakeholders in identifying and securing the resources to ensure development of a prison recovery community strategic plan.

The project will undergo substantial evaluation over the course of implementation. The postholder will be encouraged to enrol in a part time MSc by Research at DCU, which fees will be funded by the Dublin North, North East Recovery College.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not restricted to, the following:

Working alongside the project team, operational group, steering group, Prison partners, students, peers, peer educators the post holder will assist in the coordination of:

  • A 3-year strategic plan for the establishment of holistic prison recovery communities
  • Implementation of a recovery education framework
  • A framework for the delivery of recovery colleges within prison systems
  • The training and development of courses for staff within the prison system to become trauma informed and Dual Diagnosis aware.
  • Embedding a participatory community of practice that will use resources, provide input and evaluate the effectiveness of the programmes delivered
  • A range of recovery focused programmes, courses, and workshops, including the training of recovery education facilitators, peer educators and professionals.
  • In reach and inhouse recovery supports e.g., fellowship meetings, SMART recovery
  • Educational programmes which can provide self-awareness and also opportunities for personal and professional development e.g. addiction studies
  • Establish a Dialogical forum where all stakeholders in the recovery initiative can come together at designated intervals to reduce challenges and create possibilities
  • Maintenance of partnership and consortium arrangements with national organisations
  • Co-ordination of the consortium steering group and feedback mechanisms
  • Ensuring the principles of recovery, co-production, co-delivery, and co-learning are embedded in all activities.

In meeting these responsibilities the postholder will be required:

  • To ensure the smooth running of the recovery initiative on a day-to-day basis, through the efficient administration of the project
  • To work alongside staff from prison services, community organisations and other professionals, to promote and maintain a recovery focused culture in the prison
  • To maintain and develop new networks and partnerships across the prison community, including mainstream organisations, to develop co-produced courses/workshops and to improve opportunities the prison population experiencing mental health and or substance use issues
  • To promote the ethos of Recovery College including a language of training and education, promoting the positive identity of student as an alternative to prisoner and Recovery education courses as an alternative to mental health clinical groups
  • To raise awareness of recovery language by modelling positive strengths based, non-discriminatory, non-jargon, non-medical language in all areas of work
  • To become the expert in Recovery principles and practices and to model these throughout the partnership
  • To engage and involve stakeholders (service users, family members, volunteers, and staff from all the partnership organisations) in the project
  • To oversee the education components for recovery peer educators and facilitators
  • To create and deliver project work plans and revise as appropriate to meet changing needs and requirements, ensuring that all courses/workshops are co-produced and co-delivered, adhering to the core principles of adult learning
  • To assist in the set-up of courses/workshops for Peer and Mental Health/Substance use Practitioner trainers
  • To manage the coordintion of the facilitation of AA/NA meetings in prisons
  • To assist with the ongoing development delivery and monitoring of quality assurance systems
  • To ensure ongoing review and development of consistent policies, procedures, and good practice
  • To ensure the efficient administration of the project, including maintaining progress and financial records and submitting project status reports to meeting the reporting requirements of funders
  • To establish agreed working relationship between administrative project support provided by IPS.

Qualifications and Experience

Essential Criteria

  • Relevant tertiary qualifications in a health/social care; community development. Ideally the post holder will have an undergraduate or master’s degree in a relevant subject area to mental health/ addiction and or community development and/or Education related field or relevant equivalent work experience Or A combination of study and work experience.
  • Extensive knowledge of and commitment to mental health and substance use recovery principles and models of community participation with a good understanding of the needs of people with mental health and substance use difficulties and ability to foster self-determination and self-care
  • Experience in developing and delivering recovery based mental health and/or substance use training and educational packages plus knowledge of adult education principles
  • Experience in facilitating learning on educational programmes in University and NGO sector
  • Ideally a minimum 2 years of project management experience and skills.

Desirable Criteria

  • Hold a clean drivers licence
  • Demonstrates evidence of ability to work effectively as part of a team, within a multi-disciplinary framework
  • Has an ability to be flexible and responsive to changing priorities
  • Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills; highly developed negotiation and influencing skills and ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with senior management and other stakeholders including clinicians, service users, family members and consumer workers
  • Displays sound judgement and decision-making skills, including high level analytical and problem-solving skills, the ability to provide authoritative advice and recommendations at strategic and service levels
  • The post holder will have an established national leadership capacity within relevant networks – Service Users, Family Members, NGO bodies and/or Statutory Mental Health Services
  • A demonstrable commitment to the integration of professional and service user agendas experience/expertise in education, research and service development across a range of borders – professional/non-statutory; professional/service user, discipline, etc.
  • Have lived experience of mental health and or substance use issues
  • Awareness of and commitment to all aspects of anti-discriminatory practice.

Essential Training

 The postholder will be required to undertake the following essential compliance training: Orientation, Health & Safety, Data Protection (GDPR) and all Cyber Security Awareness Training.  Other training may need to be undertaken when required.

Salary Scale:

 Professional 5 – € 55,257- € 66,574 refer to DCU Payscales for the applicable payscale.

Appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and in line with current Government pay policy

 Closing date: Friday 7th June 2024

Pilot Remote Working Policy

DCU is currently operating a pilot remote working policy for staff which consists of 1 day a week and 2 days a week for a period of up to 21 weeks per year. Such weeks are determined by the Head of each Unit in conjunction with HR and will take cognisance of the academic calendar, business needs and the service provision of the particular area. The terms of the pilot remote working policy will apply.

 For more information on DCU and benefits, please visit Why work at DCU?


Informal Enquiries in relation to this role should be directed to:

Dr Líam Mac Gabhann, School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health, Dublin City University.

Phone + 353 (0)1 7008805 Email:

Please do not send applications to this email address, instead apply as described below.

Application Procedure:

Please submit your application through the online system. In order to be considered for the role to which you are applying for, you must upload:

1)  Curriculum Vitae

2)  Cover Letter

3)  Completed application form (blank forms can be downloaded from the bottom of the Vacancy).

Please note, if all items are not uploaded, the application will be deemed incomplete, and will not be processed.

 Dublin City University is an equal opportunities employer. 

 In line with the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015, the University is committed to equality of treatment for all those who engage with its recruitment, selection and appointment processes.  

 The University’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award signifies the University’s commitment to promoting gender equality and addressing any gender pay gaps.  Information on a range of university policies aimed at creating a supportive and flexible work environment are available in the DCU Policy Starter Packs