Probation Scheme to go Cumbria-wide After Successful Trial in Carlisle

29 Sep 2014

Probation Scheme to go Cumbria-wide After Successful Trial in Carlisle

A pioneering approach to working with offenders is to be rolled out across south and west Cumbria after paying dividends in Carlisle after just six months in operation.

The ‘One Stop Shop’ was set up to provide advice and support for current and past offenders. It came about after a survey indicated that offenders felt the need for a single point of reference for various agencies in the community.

Alan Faith has run the scheme since January 2014: “We provide a wide variety of help for the people attending the sessions,” he explained. “We can guide them towards new resources and opportunities, let them discuss any issues they may be facing, or we can manage individuals in crisis. On more than one occasion we’ve provided refreshments, a cool head, phone calls, food and travel vouchers to people which, we believe, has helped prevent imminent reoffending.”

The scheme was set up by the former Cumbria Probation Trust – which was superseded by the Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) on 1st June 2014.

It is supported by the Cumbria Law Centre, drug and alcohol support workers from Unity and the Community Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS), the National Careers Service and Achieve.

The Friday afternoon sessions now see something like a dozen people a week seeking advice and support, including guidance on benefits, housing and education, training and employment issues.

The sessions run from 13:00 to 16:00 and are available to all current offenders plus any whose community order or licence has ended within the last two years.

Photo caption: (L-R) Peter Telford, CADAS, Paul Bryce, a recovering alcoholic who is putting his life back together through the scheme and Alan Faith, Cumbria and Lancashire Probation CRC.

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