Turning Lives Around consortia wins MoJ contract

Turning Lives Around consortia wins MoJ contract

Turning Lives Around is one of three partners in a Yorkshire consortium awarded a contract by the Ministry of Justice to tackle re-offending.

A three-year pilot, the consortia led by Foundation UK with partners TLA and The Bridge Project will provide homes and support for 155 men in West Yorkshire as they leave prison.  The project will be called Horizons.

The key aim is to prevent re-offending by offering guaranteed, sustainable accommodation backed up with intensive support that starts ahead of the men’s release.

TLA, which has vast experience working with ex-offenders, and uses Housing First principles as the basis of their work will start support on health, education and careers to help the men integrate back into society as seamlessly as possible.

“The pilot is one of three across the UK that is tackling the same issue of re-offending amongst men serving less than 2 years in custody but all using different approaches to securing accommodation,” explained Sharon Brown, Development manager for TLA.

“More than 64 per cent of adults who have served less than 12 months in prison will end up back inside.  The MoJ are determined to cut this and understand that housing, health and work are key factors.

“Ahead of their release our support worker will help the men identify their preferred location, any health issues such as substance misuse, education barriers to finding work and possible employment.

“They will meet them when they leave prison, take them to their house, help them settle in and then provide support of 5 hours a week for the first six months, with support lasting up to 2 years.

“The ambition is that they will be able to take on the tenancy themselves over time, but until they are more confident in their new home and life, they will receive decreasing support each week.”

Janet Spencer, CEO of TLA said : “Being part of this consortia demonstrates the confidence national agencies now have in TLA to tackle some of the most difficult problems in society. 

“Offenders are more at risk of becoming institutionalised than many others.  They struggle with life on the outside, usually due to a lack of housing and opportunity to develop strong community support networks.  This scheme will allow them to plan their new lives, set some goals and be confident that they are not alone on release.

"The MoJ recognizes the role that housing first has to play in breaking the vicious cycle of offending and the cost to communities,” she added.