As much as we would like to punish offenders for their wrong doing, reducing re-offending rates and ultimately stopping criminals from re-offending is an important aim of the criminal justice system. With punishment alone, we cannot guarantee public safety and therefore reduce the risk to the public. We must look beyond and understand underlying causes of crime. We can best protect the society by making a positive and lasting difference to the individual offenders.
Independent charities play a vital role at every step of prison rehabilitation. This could be ranging anywhere from legal advice, education and training, mentoring, peer support schemes.
The voluntary and community sector (VCS) has an excellent track record in delivering publicReducing Re-Offending Through Skills and Employment, HM Government, Secretary of State for Education and Skills
services and already undertakes invaluable work with offenders. The Government is committed to expanding that involvement. Work is underway across government departments to remove the barriers that deny the VCS a level playing field of competition, including ensuring that commissioning and procurement processes are properly open to the VCS, and building up VCS capacity to provide and compete.
Find an independent charity for offenders and the services that they offer
HTB Shelter and Night Shelter provide a safe place for rough sleepers in London.
For Homelessness Support in Luton and Bedfordshire area, please visit the full list of services available.
Education, Employment and Training
Code 4000 are trying to break the cycle of crime by teaching prisoners how to code and preparing them for employment in the tech-sector.
Working Chance is a charity which helps women offenders make the transition into employment, helping them find paid work and offering voluntary placements.
Offploy support people with criminal convictions to secure meaningful, mentored and sustainable employment.
Only connect supports ex-offenders that are referred back into education, employment or training through 1:1 sessions with case workers. It looks at self resilience of an individual by assessing accommodation, living skills, mental health, friends & family, drug & alcohol abuse etc.
Unlock is an independent charity for people with convictions who are dealing with the effects of having a criminal record. They give advice and support across areas such as: how to disclose to employers, criminal record checks, getting insurance and travelling abroad through their confidential peer-run helpline. 01634 247350
BLAST Foundation equips offenders and ex-offenders and their families to prepare for reintegration into lawful society through mentoring and training.
Apex Charitable Trust works across North West England and seeks to help people with criminal records obtain appropriate jobs or self-employment by providing them with the skills they need in the labour market and by working with employers to break down the barriers to their employment. 01744 612 898
St Giles Trust runs a range of services designed to help ex-offenders; employment, support, community based training, and housing/emergency accommodation. 020 7708 8000
Working Links runs programmes throughout the country to fully support ex-offenders with regaining employment. 0800 917 9262
YMCA work in partnership with prisons and probation services to support young offenders with citizenship and training opportunities pre-release. 0207 186 9500
Addiction & Mental Health Recovery
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
One in Four supports people who have experienced child sexual abuse and trauma.
First steps mental health support group based in Hemel Hampstead is a charity run by volunteers who are there to give everyone a place in a kind safe non-judgemental place to talk openly about mental health. Get in touch on FB or over the phone on 07450995888.
Financial support services
Community Money Advice is a nationwide network of debt advice centres.
Crosslight Advice provides free debt advice available in London.
The Money Course is designed to help people explore their personal relationship with money and to take control of their finances.
Choices a counselling service for those facing unplanned pregnancy and child separation.
Circles UK Circles of Support and Accountability build safer communities through local volunteers working with sex offenders to minimise alienation, support reintegration and so prevent sexual reoffending.
Prison Fellowship Prison Fellowship works through its volunteer members to support prisoners in a number of ways.
Nacro has a dedicated Resettlement Plus Helpline which offers information and advice to ex-offenders, serving prisoners, their families and friends and to organisations working with them. 0300 123 1999
Prisoners Advice Service (PAS) is the independent legal charity providing information and representation to prisoners. PAS pursues prisoners’ calls for help about their treatment in prison by providing advice and information and, where appropriate, taking legal action. 020 7253 3323
Prison Reform Trust (PRT) is an independent UK charity working to create a just, humane and effective penal system. PRT was founded in 1981 to inform and influence public debate on prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners. One of the few organisations willing and equipped to hold the state to account for its treatment of vulnerable people in prison. 0808 802 0060
Step Together provide tailored one-to-one support to help individuals into volunteering placements that match their needs and interests, and help them develop the personal and practical skills required to build a more positive future. 0117 955 9042
SOVA is a voluntary mentoring organisation in England and Wales working in the Criminal Justice Sector and young people on youth offending orders as well as care leavers, long-term unemployed and refugee and asylum seekers.
Trailblazers is a national charity that reduces re-offending among young people through providing volunteer mentors. They reduce re-offending in young people by helping them change their attitude, thinking and behavior through intensive mentoring, advice, advocacy and targeted specialist support. 07807 267280
Women in Prison is a women-centred, women-run organisation that provides specialist services to women affected by the criminal justice system both in prison and in the community throughout England. 0800 953 0125 or0207 359 6674