5th July 2010
A back-to-work course for former prisoners is bucking the trend of high rates of recidivism, writes Roisín Ingle in the Irish Times.
Trasna, a year-long back-to-work course, is designed to make former prisoners job ready. The scheme is run as part of Jobcare, an organisation founded in 1994 to help people back to employment. According to co-founder and chief executive Paul Mooney, only three of the 19 Trasna participants have returned to lives of crime.
The course also makes financial sense. The article quotes Mooney as saying: “The average cost of providing prison space for a year is almost €93,000. It costs €27,500 to put someone through the Trasna programme for the same period.”
IPRT's recent report, Reintegration of Prisoners in Ireland, found that the "revolving-door phenomenon of recidivism" could be stemmed by providing more funding for post-release services.
The article concludes with three short case studies and an item on Business in the Community Ireland's Linkage Programme, which has seen more than 4,000 former offenders placed in employment, education or training since 2000.
See opposite for short video about the work of Trasna.