£8 million to reduce reoffending

First Minister announces funding for mentoring projects

First Minister announces financial package to help reoffenders.

First Minister Alex Salmond has announced a funding package of up to £8 million for organisations delivering mentoring support to offenders.

The First Minister made the announcement after opening the new offices of Glasgow-based Includem, one of six projects that will benefit from the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund (RRCF) over 2015-2017.

The Scottish Government has contributed £6 million to the latest round of the RRCF with The Robertson Trust providing £2 million. The RRCF has now made a total of up to £18 million available over five years (2012-17).

Includem, which will receive £374,000, employs 99 staff and was set up in 2000 to work with disadvantaged young people. It now supports over 500 young people and their families every year. The new offices in Drumbreck houses head office staff and management, as well as acting as a base for frontline staff who spend most of their time working with young people in their homes and communities.

The charity’s IMPACT project takes referrals directly from the police to target and support prolific violent young offenders not engaging with other services. Initial findings published earlier this month suggest a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of offending for those involved with the project during the 6 months after leaving the intervention.

The First Minister said: “It’s vitally important that we look to break the cycle of re-offending and continue to reduce crime rates in Scotland, which are currently at a 39-year low.

“Providing mentoring schemes for those leaving prison is one of the ways offenders can move away from a life of crime and contribute positively to Scotland’s communities, making them safer and more prosperous places. This £8 million from the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund will enable charities to do just that.

“Includem is a great example of how this funding is put into practice. By engaging with young people in their own environment and understanding what issues they and their families are facing, staff can work to integrate offenders into society. And that’s something all of the awardees are doing.

“Thanks must also go to the Robertson Trust for providing £2 million towards the RRCF. With programmes like this, we are on a path to building an even safer Scotland by targeting help towards men and women who are at risk of re-offending.”

Angela Morgan, Chief Executive of Includem said: “We are thrilled that the First Minister is formally opening Includem’s combined Head office and West of Scotland office. This is a wonderful opportunity for our staff and young people we support to talk about the work of Includem.

“I am delighted he has chosen this occasion to announce the extension of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund. With the support of this funding, the Includem IMPACT project is working to reduce re-offending by providing intensive support to challenging and chaotic young people involved in prolific violent offending in Glasgow.

“Initial evaluation findings are already indicating that targeting these young people to change their attitudes and behaviours, building on their strengths and skills, is being successful at reducing the likelihood of prolific violent reoffending and preventing them being drawn into a cycle of custodial sentences.”

More on the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund 

Each project is delivered by a partnership between third sector organisations and public sector bodies. List of other awardees:

New Routes - national offender mentoring service for young, prolific male offenders. Delivered by a Public Social Partnership (PSP) led by The Wise Group. Planned funding of up to £2.9m over two years.

Shine - national offender mentoring service for women who offend. Delivered by a PSP led by Sacro. Planned funding of up to £2.7m over two years.

Barnardos / Action for Children PSP - delivering throughcare support services for young male offenders, in Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde & Highlands. Planned funding of up to £1.27m over two years.

Tayside Council on Alcohol PSP - providing support services for male and female offenders in the Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Angus regions. Planned funding of up to £311k over two years.

Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire PSP - providing mentoring for young offenders, with particular focus on employability. South Lanarkshire area. Planned funding of up to £180k over two years.