13 February 2015
Two pilot mentoring services for offenders commissioned by the London Community Rehabilitation Company (formerly the London Probation Trust) in 2013 and delivered by Catch22 and St Giles Trust have been evaluated by Manchester Metropolitan University. The services aim to reduce reoffending, improve compliance with supervision and provide a more holistic service to improve rehabilitation prospects.
The London Peer Mentoring Service (Men), delivered by Catch22 and St Giles Trust, supported 100 young male offenders aged 18 to 25 who were subject to Intensive Alternative to Custody (IAC) orders or licences.
The London Women’s Mentoring Service, delivered by Catch22, included an enabling fund to allow women and their mentors to address any unmet needs in support of their rehabilitation through the use of personal budgets.
In the first year, 152 referrals were made to the peer mentoring project (against a target of 150) and 71 referrals were made to the women’s project (against a target of 70).
For many of the young men, progress in education, training and employment (ETE) was prioritised. Access to suitable housing was also a key goal for some mentees and both projects recorded some very positive outcomes in this area.
The evaluation report found that the mentoring services had a positive impact to varying degrees across all areas linking to the action plans of service users. These areas were grouped into four key themes:
- relationships and family
- substance misuse and mental health
- debt, finance and benefits
- accessing community interventions.
The project data demonstrated that 70% of the young men and 97% of the women achieved at least 75% of their set action plan goals.
A set of recommendations was provided by Manchester Metropolitan University to inform the ongoing pilot projects and future mentoring services.
Colin Murphy, Director of Justice, Catch22 said:
‘This was the first time that personalised budgets have been used to support women offenders. Focused on meeting unmet needs, our mentors were able to identify what would help most to support rehabilitation. We have been pleased to see creative use of the enabling fund and positive outcomes for service users.’
Evan Jones, Head of Community Services, St Giles Trust said:
‘A great project that broke new ground for ex-offenders working in the criminal justice system.’
Women’s Mentoring Service
F was suffering from depression and lacked motivation. Due to the nature of her offence, her family had chosen to have no contact with her. This was affecting F and in particular her relationship with her son. F was interested in counselling as she felt this would have a major impact on her life. Together with her mentor, F looked for a suitable counsellor and booked ten sessions for her and her son using a personalised budget. F is also doing voluntary work and aims to acquire paid employment in the near future.
Peer Mentoring Service
L was not engaging with probation and was viewed as hostile to authority. He was referred to a mentor to help support, motivate and encourage him to integrate back into society. Within weeks, L became more at ease and more focused on what he wanted in life. With the support of his mentor, L enrolled onto a plumbing course.
L became consistent in attending all his probation meetings. His Offender Manager had no more concerns about L’s views in relation to the law and his risk was lowered. L has since been supported to complete a CV and register with several agencies. He recently started work as a kitchen porter in a hotel and is due to complete his plumbing course shortly.
For more information about the pilot mentoring services, contact Pip Buckley at
- Read the full London Probation Trust Mentoring Evaluation Report
- Download a summary of the London Probation Trust Mentoring Evaluation Report