New Routes and SHINE are two of four programmes to help people leaving prison reintegrate with their community to share £3.4 million to fund mentoring services across Scotland.
Mentors provide specialist one-to-one support and guidance to prison leavers, offering help to overcome the challenges many face on release, from dealing with problems such as ill-heath, debt or substance abuse, as well as assisting with longer-term aims like finding a job or rebuilding family relationships.
New Routes is a national service offering support to 18 to 25-year-old-men who have served custodial sentences of up to four years.
Our mentors work with customers up to six months before they are released and includes planning ahead to help avoid common problems such as homelessness. The skilled mentors are experienced third sector workers and many are ex-offenders who can also share their own experiences of returning to everyday life after time in prison.
Sean Duffy, chief executive of The Wise Group, which oversees the running of a mentoring programme for 18 to 25-year-old-men who have served jail sentences of up to four years, said: “Our dedicated mentors, half of whom have convictions themselves, provide vital wraparound support and guidance to customers for up to six months before release – being there for them on the day they leave prison – and for a further six months in the community.
“This funding will allow our proven mentoring approach to positively impact more lives and further reduce reoffending.”
“We will also be able explore new ways to support the justice system in providing a viable alternative to custody, such as embedding mentoring in community sentencing options.”