CARAT (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare) schemes have been operational in prisons throughout England and Wales for three and a half years, designed to increase the support available to drug-using prisoners both during custody and on release. Specifically the CARAT service has a remit to ‘bridge the gap’ between custody and the community. However, to date there have been few attempts to evaluate schemes or their impact on throughcare provision. This article presents some research findings which highlight a number of shortcomings with current throughcare provision, many of these stemming from ineffective partnership working between the agencies that share responsibility for this. A qualitative design was used, employing semi-structured interviews to ascertain the beliefs and experiences of drug users and those working with them on either side of the prison gate. The authors propose a radical re-structuring of the services in place to support drug-using offenders on release, with the aim of promoting continuity of care, facilitating effective joint working between agencies and securing a responsive and accountable service for users.