Sacro has received funding to continue delivering its Veterans Mentoring Service (VMS) throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians for a further three years. The award from The National Lottery Community Fund, made possible by National Lottery players, comes at a time of increased demand for the service.
A group of armed forces veterans serving community sentences in West Dunbartonshire have devised a PTSD-themed stage play which they recently performed online for a small, invited audience. The time they spent in these workshops counted towards the community sentence hours they had been issued by the court.
Our Veteran’s Mentoring Service is about to embark on the new and exciting challenge of beekeeping! The idea originated during a visit to Sacro by author Alexander McCall Smith CBE FRSE when it was brought to his attention that one of the people using our service – who was present at the time – mentioned that he looked after the beehives while in prison.
Sacro fully understands the need to implement an early release of individuals from custody; for their safety and that of prison staff. We are also acutely aware that – although there is a need for urgency – any arrangements put in place must be robust and have community safety at their heart.
Following the announcement to temporarily suspend the Scottish Prison Service’s Throughcare Support Service on 13 September, the Shine Public Social Partnership is responding to work with women released from short-term prison sentences of up to four years who were previously supported by the Scottish Prison Service. Shine is a Public Social Partnership led by Sacro with third sector partners: Wise Group, Apex, Access to Industry, Turning Point Scotland, Barnardos, Circle and Venture Trust, supported by Scottish Government, Scottish Prison Service and Social Work Scotland.
Sacro regards the proposed extension of the presumption against short-term prison sentences from three to 12 months as a welcome development with the potential to reduce Scotland’s prison population safely and with a greater focus on effective rehabilitation through the use of community sentences.
The release of reconviction figures for 2015/2016 have shown a continued fall in reconviction rates in Scotland. Commenting on the figures, Sacro's Chief Executive, Tom Halpin said: "Sacro welcomes the progress being made in tackling reconviction rates which are a real indicator of persistent offending within our communities.