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Media release: Grant boost to support people leaving prison

NEWS | 11th March 2024

More support will be available across Scotland for people leaving prison to help them resettle and integrate back into communities thanks to a £1.5 million increase in grant funding.

The Scottish Government has agreed with a recommendation by Community Justice Scotland (CJS) to the increase to improve support available for people leaving a short prison sentence and – for the first time – to include men who’ve been in prison awaiting trial on remand.

This followed an extensive review of current support services as well as new research carried out by Community Justice Scotland in collaboration with the Scottish Government to understand what men, women and young people need before they leave prison and on their release to help them reintegrate back into communities and thrive.

The total grant fund of £5.3 million for the new national service will be available to voluntary organisations working in partnership across Scotland to provide throughcare support to people leaving prison who have served up to four years or a period of remand.

As well as existing providers, organisations who haven’t previously had the opportunity will be able to apply for grant funding.

Claire Penny, Head of Commissioning at Community Justice Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that the Scottish Government has agreed with our recommendation to increase funding to improve voluntary throughcare support for people leaving prison.

“Our research revealed more funding for support was needed and that services should be consistently available across the whole of Scotland. Our work also said that support should also be extended to help men leaving prison following a period of remand awaiting trial.

“Supporting people as they prepare for release from prison and when they  return home can reduce reoffending and positively support individuals resettle back into their communities.

“Helping people to prepare for their release from prison and positively supporting them to resettle back into their communities can reduce reoffending.”

A range of research – including an independent study talking to people with experience of prison and support services on release as well as professionals was carried out to gather evidence.

CJS also conducted an extensive literature review and analysis of demographic information as part of the research. The findings were used to recommend a new service arrangement  for this type of support known as voluntary throughcare from 1 April 2025. The commissioning process for the Scottish Government grant will be led by CJS.

The new arrangements will mean the support delivered in local communities will be more consistent across Scotland for men, women and young people leaving prison.

The current services provided by New Routes and Shine which are Public Social Partnerships (PSPs) (voluntary partnerships involving one or more organisations from the public and third sectors and potentially the private sector), will continue until the new service starts.

As well as the services provided by the PSPs, local authority justice social work departments have a responsibility to provide voluntary throughcare services. These services are not affected by this new national partnership of third sector organisations and voluntary throughcare will still also be provided by justice social work.

  • The grant fund will launch on 19 March 2024 with applications opening on 15 April. Third sector organisations can apply as a group of partners for funding. For more information about the grant fund launch visit this page.
  • This funding is approved for 2025/26 and is subject to annual approval of future budgets.


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