Ex-offenders often struggle to find accommodation or employment. After years in prison they may be fearful of life outside. Support is vital if they are to rebuild their lives. Finding that support and encouragement can be difficult! Rebuilt lives are of course a major benefit to the communities to which people leaving prison return.

Making Connections is a Chaplaincy programme, developed at HMP Send, run by volunteers, quality accredited by the NCVO, and funded by The Nazareth Way, for prisoners of all faiths and none.  It is now also running at HMP Coldingley.  We now need to raise significant funds to enable other prisons to adopt the programme.  HMP Bronzefield and HMP Downview would both like to move ahead, but we need to fund project management, mentor training and the provision of materials.

The programme works by

  • Encouraging prisoners to prepare for release, and to develop plans for life beyond prison, signposting them to resources, developing their problem solving skills and building confidence
  • Arranging transport to get vulnerable prisoners safely to their destination
  • Developing partnerships with other organisations in the community and making referrals to provide ongoing community-based mentoring.

The evidence shows that it makes a significant difference. The Ministry of Justice Data Lab conducted a detailed statistical analysis comparing Making Connections mentees with a matched sample of prisoners who had not taken part.  The positive results are shown below.

Could you help to make this programme available to more prisoners in more prisons, through donations or volunteering to become a mentor?

Ministry of Justice Data Lab analysis: 

Re-offending behaviour after participation in the Making Connections mentoring programme  February 2017: 

Overall measurements of the treatment and comparison groups

For any 100 typical people in the treatment group: For any 100 typical people in the comparison group:
16 people committed a proven re-offence within a one-year period (a rate of 16%), 12 people fewer than the comparison group. 28 people committed a proven re-offence within a one-year period (a rate of 28%).
31 proven re-offences were committed by these 100 people during the year (a frequency of 0.31 offences per person), 74 offences fewer than in the comparison group. 106 proven re-offences were committed by these 100 people during the year (a frequency of 1.06 offences per person).