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Next Steps: Keeping women out of prison

Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme for women has been featured in The Scotsman on Thursday, November 2nd

The article highlights the impacts of the programme and how Venture Trust is making a difference to the lives of women caught up in the criminal justice system.

It also explains the challenges community justice and other statutory and third sector partners have in guiding women caught up in the criminal justice system to turn their life around.

"The programme is breaking the cycle of reoffending. During the last five years women on the programme have succeed in making and sustaining positive changes in their lives; with 86 per cent of participants showed increased self-confidence; 83 per cent improved their employability skill; 65 per cent showed behaviours and circumstances likely to reduce risks of reconviction; 50 per cent improved their relationships with those around them, and were making increased use of services and opportunities in their community such as libraries, gyms or doctors’ surgeries."

Despite the challenges to reach women in the justice system, the Next Steps programme has operated at increased scale to reach greater numbers of vulnerable women. Last year, 387 females with a history of offending took part in the programme, an increase of 23 per cent with referrals from over 100 different organisations across Scotland.

The article comes ahead of the Next Steps - Moving out of the Past towards the Positive event being held on November 21.

Business leaders have been invited to celebrate the achievements of the women involved in the Next Steps programme and the wider impact of the programme. In particular, how Venture Trust is unlocking their potential, enabling them to rebuild relationships, move on to work, and contribute positively in their communities.

Dr Sheila Inglis, Director of SMCI Associates will share the findings of an independent programme evaluation. Evidence will be presented of what works to support women in moving away from offending towards more productive, healthier and happier lives.

You can read the full article on The Scotsman website.

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