AWARE project is expected to improve, on the one hand, prison and probation staff, and civil society (e.g. third sector organisations) ability to think critically and productively about the complex issues of this target group, by providing them effective tools, problem solving skills and clear pathways for action. On the other hand, for individuals in contact with the Criminal Justice System (CJS), it is expected better results from existing resettlement initiatives if mental health barriers and related stigma are removed. For policy makers, this will be political leverage that proves how investing in cross-sectoral integration delivers results. For society, the result is clear: safer, more resilient and more inclusive communities.
After the end of the project, the following short- and medium-term impacts are expected:
- Decreased stigma in existing resettlement initiatives through a greater inclusion of individuals in contact with the CJS;
- Better capacity and increased awareness for prison and probation staff to deal with individuals in contact with the CJS who have mental health problems by delivering training methodology, which will allow them to gain new knowledge and tools useful for everyday challenges;
- Greater opportunities and improved integrated communication for civil society, prison and probation staff to achieve their mission and goals, by enhancing their talents and skills when working with (ex)prisoners with mental health problems, through the involvement in a Community of Practice;
- Improved (i) multi-agency cooperation and planning for release, (ii) information gathering and (iii) communication processes between different agencies (prison probation – mental health care services – ETE community services) – through the establishment of a multi-agency and collaboration approach by providing civil society and prison and probation staff with the tools that allow them to analyse the existing networks;
- Greater showcasing of what works for effective resettlement and an openness to look at local inside/outside prison cross sectoral partnerships, for the benefit of individuals in contact with the CJS who suffer from mental illness and for society (by developing a Handbook on learning tools and good practice);
- Real involvement of enterprises, NGO’s, Employee Unions, Government Agencies, Media, Community Groups (that provide services to former offenders), among others, by integrating the developed Handbook for community awareness of (ex)offenders’ rehabilitation and reintegration processes on their annual training agenda;
- Better capacity for former prisoners who suffer the double challenge and stigma of both a criminal record and mental health problems to access and progress with ETE measures, without having to deal with prejudices and stereotypes, enhancing the probability to achieve steady employment that offers them a sense of achievement, satisfaction or mastery;
- Give a voice and greater representation of AWARE’s target group at a national and EU policy level.