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Funding to reduce reoffending
Six projects are to receive a share of almost £7.7m to establish a national network of mentoring schemes to tackle Scotland’s high re-offending rates.
The funding, to be invested during the next two years, will be targeted towards prolific male offenders and women offenders who are at risk of re-offending. They will be given one-to-one support, provided by around 130 mentors, to deal with their problems, including practical support to get their lives back on track, help to access public services and encouragement to comply with court orders and community sentences.
This investment – the latest round from the Scottish Government’s Reoffending Change Fund - includes £2.658m for a partnership of voluntary and public organisations led by Sacro to work with female offenders, and £2.9m for a partnership led by the Wise Group to undertake mentoring with prolific male offenders. Each of these programmes will be delivered Scotland wide.
Four further Public Social Partnerships will receive funding for local or specialised schemes. These are:
* Tayside Council on Alcohol - £311,270 to build on their work with women and persistent male offenders in Dundee, Perth and Kinross, and Angus,
* Action for Children & Barnardo’s - £1,267,751 to work with young prolific male offenders in East Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Highland
* Includem - £374,399 to work with problematic young offenders in Greater Glasgow
* Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire - £179,742 to work on mentoring and employability with offenders in that area.
Announcing details of the funding allocations at HMP Edinburgh, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill said:
“Although crime in Scotland is now at a 37 year low, re-offending rates remain stubbornly high. Without the right support, those leaving prison will all too often end up back behind bars – in some cases, time and time again. We need to break that cycle so that offenders make a more meaningful contribution to society, enter a life free of crime and stop our communities suffering from the impact of their repeat offending.
“This funding will help six partnerships expand or set up mentoring schemes across Scotland to improve throughcare and support for younger offenders leaving prison and in the community. I want to thank the Robertson Trust for its £2m contribution towards the Change Fund and for joining with us and the Scottish Prison Service to support these projects. I now look forward to visiting these projects later in the year to see the impact they are making on individuals’ lives and on building safer, stronger communities.”
Tom Halpin, Chief Executive of Sacro, speaking on behalf one of the national PSPs, said:
“Public Social Partnerships are an exciting development for community justice in Scotland and Sacro is delighted to be playing a leading role. Harnessing the diverse but complementary skills of these organisations with the common goal of reducing reoffending will pay real dividends.
“Providing mentors to support women and young people to make positive changes in their lives will take many out of the cycle of offending. Sacro believes these innovative services will address offending earlier and more effectively, resulting in fewer crimes, fewer victims and safer communities.
Laurie Russell, Chief Executive of The Wise Group, which is leading the other national PSP said:
“I am delighted the Scottish Government has recognised the impact that the Wise Group and its partners have had through mentoring prisoners on release. This not only helps them to transform their lives but can make a real impact on families and communities across Scotland.”
For case studies relating to some of the projects who are to benefit from today’s funding see:
This is the second tranche of funding from the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund, established last year. In total, £10m will be allocated between 2012 and 2015 to support mentoring projects, of which £7.5m comes from the Scottish Government, £2m from the Robertson Trust and £500,000 from the Scottish Prison Service.
All six grants announced today are being allocated to Public Social Partnerships (PSPs), each a combination of public and voluntary sector organisations who are working together to design and deliver mentoring projects. The two national PSPs include the following:
Women Offenders - lead organisation Sacro, with partners Apex Scotland, Barnardo’s, Circle, The Wise Group, Turning Point Scotland, Access to Industry, Venture Trust, Scottish Prison Service, Association of Directors of Social Work and Scotland’s eight Criminal Justice Authorities.
Prolific male offenders - lead organisation The Wise Group, with partners Sacro, Apex Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Turning Point Scotland, Families Outside, Circle, Relationships Scotland, Youth Community Support Agency, the eight CJAs, SPS and the National Prisoner Healthcare Network.
Mentoring provides ex-offenders with one-to-one support to help them deal with their problem, and not to commit crime in the future. It will be tailored, based on each individual’s needs. The mentor can be a paid worker, or can be a trained volunteer.
For information on Scotland’s latest published re-offending rates see:
Ruth Jays: 0131 244 3069