Ex-prisoners in the current economic climate are facing extreme isolation, marginalisation and inequality. A study by the UCD Institute of Criminology and the Irish Prison Service showed that 54.1% of ex-prisoners returned to prison after three years. Access to education, training and employment is limited due to high unemployment, impeding re-integration and encouraging recidivism.
Stephen Plunkett set up U-Casadh to offer mentoring and support for ex-prisoners aged over 24 years, helping them create plans for when they are released from prison. The programme provides sheltered training and employment opportunities, like job clubs, physical activities, training courses and counselling, that actively engage them in learning, work and enterprise.
Goals and objectives
The programme has succeeded in supporting personal development, physical and mental fitness, lifestyle/behaviour changes, as well as professional education and training. With support from The Arthur Guinness Fund, Stephen will be able to further develop sheltered employment opportunities and help U-Casadh become a model of best practice that can be replicated across the country, transforming countless lives in the process.