ITSUP2U OFFERS A REACTIVE SOLUTION TO RE-OFFENDING WHILST ALSO ENGAGING WITH PEOPLE TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT
— About the initiative
CELLS relies so much on the testimony of people who have been affected by crime to relay their experience to youngsters as a deterrent. They are fundamental in the success of our awareness and prevention strategy. But what about them? itsup2u is about supporting them through their own rehabilitation and reintegration and creating aims and objectives with them through structured and achievable personal development plans. Realising achievable goals and career paths that help them avoid re-offending and life back on the crime cycle.
With our awareness sessions we offer a Proactive approach to crime prevention and reducing offending, itsup2u offers a reactive solution to re-offending whilst also engaging with people to provide personal development and support, but as we say “itsup2u”.
- Shaun Glanville
Development Manager and Founder
— Seven pathways to reducing re-offending:
1 - Accommodation and Support
A third of prisoners do not have settled accommodation prior to custody and it is estimated that stable accommodation can reduce the likelihood of re-offending by more than a fifth. It also provides the vital building blocks for a range of other support services and gaining employment.
2 - Education, Training and Employment
Having a job can reduce the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half. There is a strong correlation between offending, poor literacy, language and numeracy skills and low achievement. Many offenders have a poor experience of education and no experience of stable employment.
3 - Health
Offenders are disproportionately more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems than the general population and also have high rates of alcohol misuse. Not surprisingly, 31% of adult prisoners were found to have emotional well being issues linked to their offending behaviour.
4 - Drugs and Alcohol
Around two thirds of prisoners use illegal drugs in the year before imprisonment and intoxication by alcohol is linked to 30% of sexual offences, 33% of burglaries, 50% of street crime and about half of all violent crimes.
5 - Finance, Benefits and Debt
Ensuring that ex-offenders have sufficient lawfully obtained money to live on is vital to their rehabilitation. Around 48% of prisoners report a history of debt, which gets worse for about a third of them during custody and about 81% of offenders claim benefit on release.
6 - Children and families
Maintaining strong relationships with families and children can play a major role in helping prisoners to make and sustain changes that help them to avoid re-offending. This is difficult because custody places added strains on family relationships.
7 - Attitudes, thinking & behaviour
Prisoners are more likely to have negative social attitudes and poor self-control. Successfully addressing their attitudes, thinking and behaviour during custody may reduce re-offending by up to 14%.
— What CELLS have achieved through the itsup2u initiative:
CELLS have helped 12 of our team gain employment through involvement with us and their own commitment
CELLS helped 45 beneficiaries with work experience, courses and qualifications in 2013-14 reporting period (there were 82 registrants with itsup2u in that period)
We have helped beneficiaries with traineeships and work placements and have sourced apprenticeship placements for youngsters when they felt they had no hope or future
We have worked with 5 prisoners released on temporary license so far all of whom have gained experience qualifications and work through the project, whilst achieving these personal objectives they have helped the community
Team members have developed their own accredited mentoring programme and is delivered by them
27 beneficiaries have gained employability skills