A dedicated mentoring hub, called Justmentoring, has been launched, targeted at linking offenders with high-quality support to get their lives back on track and halt the cycle of crime many find themselves in. The Justmentoring website will, for the first-time, give prisoners or offenders in the community quick and easy access to a range of mentoring services. They will be able to find help addressing the root causes of their offending, such as drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, unemployment and mental health issues.
Reoffending rates have barely changed in a decade despite spending £4bn a year on prisons and probation. More than 58 per cent of prisoners serving fewer than 12 months go on to commit further crime within a year of release.
The Government recently set out a raft of radical reforms to the way offenders are rehabilitated to tackle these high reoffending rates and strike a balance between punishment and rehabilitation. The plans could see every prison leaver serve a minimum of 12-months supervision in the community and the creation of a network of resettlement prisons so nearly all offenders are released into the area in which they will live and be supervised.
Mentoring is a major part of these radical reforms and the Justmentoring service will bring offenders together with organisations offering quality services.
As part of the same project, 200 groups working to mentor offenders have received support to reach the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation's ‘approved provider standard’, with the aim of bringing greater quality-assurance to the sector.
Our Prison Mentoring Project was the first project to achieve this standard and we were presented with our certificate at the Justmentoring launch in June.
Have a look at the Justmentoring website at www.justmentoring.org.uk