2: Working with offenders.
Preventing people from committing crimes is the most important aspect of a crime free society. The first step in rehabilitation is to work with those people who are at risk of offending. They are the people who are jobless and homeless. Thus the areas that we can work on are as follows:
First Steps Programme (Family Oriented)
This programme deals with working with troubled families to help improve parenting skills and to strengthen their capacity to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime and antisocial behaviour
To provide homes for people and support them to keep a stable home. This can be done by:
• providing short-term accommodation to homeless young people,
• helping residents to develop the skills they need to live independently, maintain their own tenancies, get into education, training or employment, and stop offending.
Early Intervention Service:
Get in early with troubled young people who have either been excluded from school or are at risk of being excluded, by providing them with the opportunity to gain qualifications, skills and confidence so they can get back into learning or training.
This programme will prevent people from getting involved in antisocial behaviour by working with them to improve their attitudes and behaviour. We also need to work with local communities to address the damages caused by antisocial behaviour.
WORKING WITH OFFENDERS
There is growing evidence of the particularly acute difficulties faced by Muslims prisoners returning to mainstream society and, as a consequence, their vulnerability to negative influences. Following the 2006 campaign, Muslim Youth Helpline undertook an evaluation of the campaign distributing a survey questionnaire to 400 prisoners, of which 328 were completed. Key statistics revealed by this survey include the following:
• 30% of Muslims prisoners responding felt that the Muslims community could have played a better role in keeping them out of prison; • 35% of those responding were re-offenders;
• of re-offenders, 63% did not find the support they needed upon leaving prison the first time;
• of re-offenders, 82% felt quite strongly that faith-sensitive, community support upon exiting prison would have prevented them from re-offending; and,
• There was nearly unanimous support in the same survey to the question asking whether prisoners would support a prison mentoring programme.
Identifying the right offender
First step is the identification of the right offender for the programme who is in right state of mind, is positive about his life and motivated enough to make life better for himself and his family.
Linking the project with probation officer
A regular contact will be kept with the probation officer related to the offender to get all the information about the offender and to give him our update about the offender which will help us, the parole officer and most importantly the ex-offender.
We aim to help offenders to prepare effectively for release and reintegration into society by providing advice on housing, employment and money management.
We aim to provide focused support and mentoring opportunities to Muslims prisoners around the vulnerable period of transition from prison back to society, and providing them with a trained mentor to support them through the difficult transition from custody back into their communities.
When the ex-offenders are released from prison, they are in a difficult situation; jobless and homeless. Often they are shunned by the community and left alone. This condition may result in their tendency to re-offend. Resettlement aims at preventing the ex-offenders from re-offending by providing them support and helping them to reintegrate in the society. 20 % of those that have been mentored re-offended compared to 66% of previous offenders within two years after simply being released from prison. That is a huge difference.
Without secure, appropriate accommodation, ex-offenders are at a higher risk of re-offending and no permanent address makes it difficult for them to apply for jobs, open a bank account, or register with a GP. We aim to enable offenders to resettle into the community and to stop them from reoffending by providing them short term accommodation till the time they can support themselves and manage their tenancies.
We aim to work with young Muslims offenders to stabilise their lives and help them back into education. The service will be designed to provide support and advice to young people on issues which affect their lives and to help them progress.
Step Change Skills for Work Programme
Basic Skills help people leaving custody to resettle successfully in the community. It equips them with a route back into training and employment through training programmes and accredited schemes. The scheme will be designed to give people confidence in basic numeracy and literacy and be able to access vocational courses to help their employment prospects.
Employment and work placement opportunities:
A job provides: structured time; an income; the opportunity for a new outlook and new relationships; a legitimate identity; ambitions and goals; and financial security. It also gives those who have turned their back on crime the chance to give something back to their community. Employment can also help reduce the risk of reoffending for some people, which means less crime for the rest of us. We aim to look for job opportunities for these Muslims ex-offenders which can easily reduce the risk of them offending again. We also aim to equip ex-offenders with the skills they need to become a mechanic and offers access to a wide range of skill programmes so that they can do their own work on self-employed basis.