Project to reduce reoffending extended to 2017 with £200,000 boost

Margaret Burgess

A pilot project meant to reduce reoffending and support around 750 prisoners and ex-offenders every year will be extended to March 2017 as a result of £200,000 additional funding from the Scottish government.

The Low Moss Public Social Partnership is a project jointly designed and delivered by the public and third sectors which aims to help short-term prisoners access suitable housing, apply for jobs and increase their qualifications.

It works to improve relationships with their families and communities, supporting them in prison and helping them to adapt to life once they leave prison.

Results from the first year of the pilot project in 2013/14, found that of the 201 prisoners released, 30 had returned to custody by 2014.

Half of the service users reported their living situation and psychological wellbeing had improved through the project.

Prisoners referred to the third sector project are allocated a keyworker who will create a personal care plan for them, working with them for the duration of the sentence, and up to a year after they leave.

This latest investment in Low Moss PSP brings the total support from the Scottish government’s third sector budget to more than £634,000 between 2012 and 2017.

The project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the Robertson Trust.

The Scottish government also provides support and guidance to the PSP through its Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers programme, delivered by Ready for Business.

Housing secretary Margaret Burgess welcomed the work of the third sector PSP, she said: “Before the PSP some of these prisoners were in and out of prison on a regular basis and were not getting support to find a house, a job or do anything constructive with their time.

“However this scheme aims to change that and support offenders by getting them the advice they need on issues like housing, and also helping to improve their qualifications and employment prospects.”

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