This page is here for archive purposes, to showcase PS Plus and European Social Fund (ESF) achievements between 2002 2008. For information on the latest ESF funded National Offender Management Service (NOMS) programme, please click here.
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PS Plus has assisted over 77,000 beneficiaries in 42 prisons and 15 probation areas over 6 years. Below are some comments made by PS Plus beneficiaries:

“I’ve been in and out of probation and prison for thirty years. This is the best I’ve ever experienced. They never used to have license, so the contact after leaving prison just wasn’t there. Plus the courts didn’t listen to probation then. I wish this scheme was around thirty years ago”

Coming Through: An Evaluation of the PS Plus 2 programme

Richard
Richard had worked in the motor trade for several years before his custodial sentence.

When discussing his long term aims with a PS Plus Case Manager, he expressed his desire to set up his own business. The Case Manager set out a Community Integration Plan which involved Richard improving his basic skills set along with gaining specific qualifications in vehicle repair and book-keeping.

Prior to release the Richard was referred to a Business in Prisons advisor. “They put my mind at rest and made me feel more confident about my future plans” commented Richard.

On release Richard started his business, reflecting on the help he received Richard states “I am very happy. I am at a point in my life where I am in control. The help and advice I received from PS Plus along with the courses I did were invaluable in letting me achieve my dreams.”


Elaine
Elaine was a recidivist offender who had an abusive background and was heavily involved in drugs.

After an initial review with a PS Plus Case Manager it was decided that Elaine would be referred to Drug counselling, an anger management course and, at a later date, basic literacy and numeracy courses.

On release Elaine was offered support by a mentor and now, one year on, is in a stable relationship, drug free and in full time employment. “For the first time in my life I was asked what I wanted to do, this made me realise I could make my own decisions and improve my life” says Elaine speaking about the help and support offered by PS Plus and her mentor.


Philip
Philip was extremely motivated to find work; however he was growing frustrated at the lack of job opportunities available to him.

His Community Link Worker provided him with a list of local recruitment agencies and an application to the Beneficiary Access Fund was made for the Health and Safety Test for the CSCS card.

Philip contacted some of the agencies and is now working full time for a local magazine wholesaler. He has also passed the H&S CSCS awareness test which has significantly increased the chances of Philip finding employment within the construction industry.


Harshini
Harshini was assessed as having a range of barriers: drugs, anger, and an unstable and abusive family background. Whilst in prison she was also very disruptive, having many adjudications.

Known for getting very angry. Harshini once said that she came from a large family, where, if you wanted to eat or sit down, you had to 'knock somebody of their seat – the best fighter got the food and the chair'.

Harshini was a prisoner who demanded a lot of attention and staff time (PS Plus and prison staff). Despite her propensity to “flare up” she also had a good sense of humour and was well regarded by all of the prison staff. After her initial interview with the PS Plus Case Manager she was assessed as having a priority housing need and also needed to learn to manage her anger. Harshini attended offending behaviour programmes and, as well as improving herself esteem she also made some good contributions to these programmes.
PS Plus assigned an ETE worker to work with Harshini, putting in a lot of time an effort to help Harshini move in the right direction and keep motivated whilst the PS Plus Housing advice worker dealt with Harshinis housing requirements.

Due to the work of the PS Plus team, on release Harshini was given a placement in a supported housing scheme, had a Jobcentre appointment and was provided with a mentor to help guide her during her post-release. A private company who agreed to help Harshini on a no-cost basis provided the mentor service. This service proved to be extremely valuable to Harshini she was met at the prison gate by the mentor and taken to her new accommodation. Through the continued support of PS Plus and her mentor, Harshini managed to secure employment.

Harshini is now in a stable relationship, has remained drug free and continues to remain focused on her goals.


Luke
Luke joined PS Plus whilst serving a 20-month sentence at an open prison. Prior to sentencing he was enrolled on an NVQ welding course but was unable to complete this due to the lack of a suitable work placement. He felt he had been let down by his college.
After discussions with the PS Plus team, Luke decided he would like to go into the building trade as a bricklayer. The PS Plus staff arranged a work placement with a large local company in the building trade to give Luke some actual experience of the industry.

Speculative letters were sent to local building companies, not only for employment, but for employment with an associated Modern Apprenticeship. The Construction Industries Training Board (CITB) was contacted and they visited the Prison establishment and assessed Lukes' suitability to take a Modern Apprenticeship.

An assessment interview was arranged with a local college to decide the best academic route for Luke to take, a member of PS Plus staff accompanied Luke to this interview as support. A part-time course with an immediate start was available, if Luke did not manage to obtain suitable employment. Alternatively a September start was offered on a course to compliment a Modern Apprenticeship.

A reply from one of the speculative letters offered Luke an initial interview. This position carried a included a Modern Apprenticeship. The interview was to be competitive, with several other applicants for the post.

The PS Plus staff helped Luke with interview preparation and techniques and accompanied him to the interview. From this, a second interview, with a company director, was arranged to take place at the prison establishment. The director wished to personally interview potentially successful candidates. At this interview Luke was told that the company would not normally consider employing someone convicted of Luke’s offence.

Speaking to Luke after the interview, he felt that his offence would prevent him from getting the job. He was due for release the following day and rather despondent. Despite his reservations and his offence, Luke did get the job and started his college course in September.

Luke is delighted with the outcome. He knows that without his own hard work and the support and help offered by the PS Plus staff it would not have been possible for him to be where he is today.


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