Alliance aims to cut reoffending

A new initiative is bringing together 59 organisations to reduce
reoffending by young people.

The Resettlement, Education, Support, Employment and Training
(Reset) programme is led by charity Rainer and is backed by
£8.1m, much of it from the European Social Fund, to
“re-engineer” the resettlement process. More than 80 per cent of
prisoners aged under 18 are reconvicted within two years.

It will find accommodation for young people leaving prison and
provide them with training opportunities. In most cases it will
co-ordinate access to services rather than directly deliver them.

Julie Conalty, the programme’s national director, said it aimed to
empower young offenders by working with them at the earliest

“The planning process focuses on what young people have to do when
they come out,” she said. “What we are saying is that we should be
thinking about what they need before they even go into

She said the size and scope of the project was challenging,
particularly because the agencies involved, ranging from youth
offending teams and Connexions partnerships to the Youth Justice
Board and police forces, had “different responsibilities at
different stages” of the youth justice system.

Reset will work mainly in the north west of England – in Rochdale,
Oldham, Tameside and Stockport – and the London boroughs of Newham,
Lewisham and Greenwich.

It will also work with young adult offenders at Swinfen Hall Young
Offender Institution in Lichfield and with young women at two

Reset will run until June 2007, and will share ideas with parallel
projects in Poland, Holland and Spain. It will publish policy
papers and will be evaluated independently.

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