The Transitional Support Scheme (TSS), an all-Wales project funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, is one of the largest and the longest established mentoring schemes for ex-prisoners in the UK. It offers 'through the gate' assistance to short-term male and female prisoners with substance misuse problems. The scheme is run in partnership by Group 4 Securicor (G4S) Justice Services, which covers Gwent, South Wales and Dyfed Powys with eight mentors; and CAIS/Nacro Cymru, which covers North Wales with three mentors and also employs an in-reach worker in HMP Altcourse. This report presents the results of an evaluation conducted in 2008, to assess TSS in terms of (a) the quality and effectiveness of its organisational processes and practices, and (b) its impact on the client group. Over a period of five years, TSS has developed a highly effective practice model. Its managers and most of its mentors are now highly experienced, skilled and well connected with other agencies. Feedback from external stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive about the quality of its work. The scheme was perceived as building trusting and supportive relationships with its clients, plugging important gaps in services for ex-offenders (including providing support to the relatively neglected group with alcohol problems), and fulfilling a significant 'bridging' role by assisting and encouraging offenders to engage with other agencies. Perhaps the most important contribution that TSS makes to the resettlement of prisoners is in helping their 'transition' in the critical first days and weeks after release from a highly unstable situation to one in which they are able to engage meaningfully with agencies which can help them build a more stable lifestyle and start moving away from crime and substance abuse.
|Commissioning body||Welsh Government|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|