MJW visit Prospects run by Kent Probation

Make Justice Work: Criminal Justice - News . Opinion . Research

Last week Kent Probation kindly invited Make Justice Work to visit their community project Prospects.

Prospects is a female only environment for lower level offenders which is run outside the Probation Office setting. Prospects aims to address the causes of offending. The project offers women access to counselling, employment/education and training opportunities and help with substance misuse. The group covers a different theme each week which is linked to offending behaviour and emotional needs, including; victim empathy, emotional well-being, understanding risk-factors, rules, moral reasoning, communication skills, social skills and managing emotions.

We arrived at the project and were immediately struck by how passionate the staff were, it is clear they are working extremely hard to make sure the project is a success. And it seems to be paying off, at the original project in Medway, out of 24 women, not one has gone on the re-offend. But it is not just the staff who are passionate about the project.

We heard from the women themselves why they think the project is a success and what they have found helpful. They felt supported by probation and by the other women in the group, if they need extra support they get it, it’s not in the probation office (the women found this intimidating) and it doesn’t focus just on what they have done wrong, it helps them to think about how they can put things right.

It was fantastic to see a project which is making such a difference to women’s lives and at very little cost to the taxpayers, only £50 was spent just for room hire.

So why are projects like this not being rolled out across the country? Why is this kind of support not available to all suitable lower level female offenders? You’re guess is as good as ours.

Learn more about Prospects on the Kent Probation website.

Listen to Janet’s story a female offender who completed the programme.