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18/05/17 09:15

Reducing reoffending

Funding for offender mentoring services.

Four mentoring services to reduce reoffending will share £3.4 million in funding, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has announced.

The services, delivered by third sector organisations across Scotland, provide practical and flexible one-to-one mentoring to individuals leaving prison and in the community.

The four schemes receiving funding are:

  • Shine – a national service for women leaving prison, on remand, or struggling to complete community sentences
  • New Routes – a national service for young men leaving prison
  • Moving On – which supports young men leaving HMP Polmont
  • Tayside Council on Alcohol (TCA) – which provides support for men and women on community sentences and other court orders. 

Mr Matheson visited TCA offices in Dundee to meet management, staff and some of those being supported to successfully complete their sentences and court orders. Mr Matheson said:

“One-to-one mentoring has been shown to turn people away from crime by helping them address practical or personal problems, such as relationship issues, accessing housing or healthcare, or finding training or work. Supporting people to overcome these challenges can stop them offending in the future.

“This funding follows the £15.5 million we have invested through the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund, to create new services that offer mentoring for men and women, either to build a new and better life after their release, or to comply with community sentences. This is a key element of our record support for community justice services, which has helped to bring down Scotland’s reconviction rate to its lowest level in 18 years.”  

Kathryn Baker, Interim Director of TCA added:

"We are delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to TCA today and are very pleased that the Scottish Government is continuing its support for our Public Social Partnership (PSP) which has seen the development of a strong public and third sector partnership across Tayside.

“Our community based mentoring service has made a real difference the lives of women and young men seeking to break the cycle of offending. Today Mr Matheson was able to learn at first-hand how our partnership works in action and hear the real stories from people who are gradually getting their lives back on track."

Background

TCA has delivered mentoring services for the last decade, including a bespoke women only mentoring service for women on court orders since 2010, and has won a number of awards from the Scottish Mentoring Network.

The organisations receiving funding work in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service, social work services, and other third sector services, to help men and women to reintegrate into their communities, and not reoffend. They are:

New Routes Public Social Partnership (PSP) – The Wise Group leads this broad partnership of eight agencies delivering a national service offering support to 18 to 25 year old men with a history of offending, as they leave prison after completing sentences up to 4 years. It will receive £1,300,000 in 2017/18.

Shine PSP – SACRO and their third sector partners deliver a national mentoring service for women leaving prison, on remand, or struggling to complete community sentences. It will receive £1,431,000 in 2017/18.

Moving On PSP – This partnership between Action for Children Scotland and Barnardo’s delivers a throughcare support service for young men on remand or serving short term sentences at HMP Polmont, and who are returning to East Ayrshire, the Highlands, Inverclyde or Renfrewshire upon their release. The mentoring programme involves engagement in prison to identify needs and develop an action plan and other services to prepare the young men for employment. Moving On PSP will receive £500,000 in 2017/18.

Tayside Council on Alcohol (TCA) PSP – This service builds on Tayside Council on Alcohol’s previous work across the three Council areas (Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Angus) working with women and men in the community to support them to complete community sentences, other court orders, bail support and pre-court disposals. It will receive £155,635 in 2017/18.

The Reducing Reoffending Change Fund was established by Scottish Government in 2012, in partnership with Scottish Prison Service and Robertson Trust. The Scottish Government provided £15.5 million between 2012-17 (alongside £2 million from The Robertson Trust, and £500,000 from the Scottish Prison Service).