Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner supports scheme to find ex offenders work
Volunteers will provide education, training and support for those released from prison
A scheme to help ex-offenders get back into employment has been supported by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
David Lloyd has awarded £25,000 from the Community Safety Grant, run by his office, for volunteers to provide education, training and support for those released from prison.
The Step Forward project is run by the charity Hertfordshire Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders (HACRO). It has also contributed £11,000 and the National Probation Service has agreed another £10,000 in support.
Granting the funding Mr Lloyd said: “Providing support and opportunities for ex-offenders has been proven to work, enabling them to successfully re-join society.
“This funding from my Community Safety Grant supports partner organisations that have a vital part to play in keeping Hertfordshire’s communities safe.”
The trained volunteers will provide one-on-one employment coaching to support offenders who are being managed by the probation service. The coaches will still be able to offer the programme while observing COVID-19 restrictions.
The chairperson of HACRO, Valerie Beale, said: “There are challenging times ahead in relation to employment generally due to the pandemic and it’s going to be tougher than ever for people like offenders, who often don’t have qualifications or a consistent work record.
“Having the one-to-one support of a jobs mentor will help offenders to maintain the motivation to turn their lives around and to get and retain jobs.”
The Step Forward project will be delivered across Hertfordshire and be available for all adult residents who are currently serving all or part of their sentence in the community.