A recent funding award from the Big Lottery Fund is to support people with disabilities leaving prison to overcome the challenges they face when settling back into communities.
Cornerstone’s ‘Positive Tracks’ project will use the £669,769 grant to help adults and young people with learning disabilities in the North and West of Scotland who have served short prison sentences. By bringing together a range of partners including the prison service, housing associations, JobCentre Plus, colleges and Criminal Justice Authorities, Positive Tracks will support people to overcome barriers often faced when leaving prison.
For many people with disabilities with a history of offending behaviour the return back into the community can present many challenges. Cornerstone aims to help people reintegrate into society by getting stability back in their lives and reducing the risk of reoffending. Over the next 18 months the project will work with partner agencies to provide services such as supported accommodation and life skills training including household budgeting and homekeeping. In addition, staff will facilitate access to social services and create opportunities for people to find and retain work.
Chief Executive, Edel Harris said "We are delighted to receive this funding to assist our work in supporting people with learning disabilities who have served short-term sentences in prison. Cornerstone currently provides a range of Community Justice services and this support from the Big Lottery Fund will allow us to develop these services in an innovative and responsive way. By providing support to individuals upon release from prison we aim to make a positive impact on their rehabilitation and on their transition to independence and social integration.”
In 2009 Cornerstone’s Community Justice Services received the accolade for ‘Best Social Services Team in Scotland’ from the Scottish Social Services Council for their work in supporting people who experienced offending behaviour. The Positive Tracks project will help to expand their operations across the country, improving the lives of many more people and making a real difference to the community.