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Newly released offender becomes mentoring trailblazer

By David Young

Published 10/08/2015

A newly released offender has become the first participant in a resettlement scheme aimed at providing greater support in the first months back in society.

Research shows criminals are most likely to reoffend in the 12 weeks immediately after release.

Under the Reset project, prisoners are mentored through their last four weeks in custody and then met at the gate of the prison on their release day to help with the transition.

For the next 12 weeks, mentors work with the offenders on challenges like finding suitable accommodation and employment.

The first offender to enter the programme was released on Saturday. He has a history of drug and driving offences.

The Probation Board (PBNI) project has been given one year of funding from Stormont's Northern Ireland Change Fund. The Fund aims to deliver initiatives with a preventative focus in an effort to deliver longer term savings to the public purse.

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