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IMPACT Changing Directions - Innovation Means Prisons And Communities Together

Partnership information


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There is a recognition that encouraging companies to employ ex-offenders with sex-related convictions is a difficult task, with concerns about the risk, type and location of work often being expressed by employers and the public.  Research indicates that unemployment is one of the biggest factors that can serve to increase the risk of re-offending for a particularly disadvantaged group. Developing risk managed employment opportunities are a particularly important part of any resettlement plan.

The Changing Directions initiative assesses the suitability of carefully selected prisoners forself-employment opportunities.  




The overall aim is to improve their social and economic reintegration; thereby reducing the risks of re-offending and protecting the public. The project works in a strong multi-agency framework, with public safety and risk management  being the highest priority. Working closely with the Police, the National Probation Service, Cheshire & Warrington Business Venture Ltd and key voluntary sector agencies, Changing Directions is trialling new, innovative assessment and community supervision models. 






The Changing Directions programme involves the delivery of a prison-based enterprisetraining programme; the drawing up of individual business plans and the developmentof a small business support network designed to empower benefi iaries to sustain smallbusinesses.  

Working with Manchester University, Changing Directions has produced research into the public attitudes to sex offenders, and the key barriers to employment that face this target group.

Risk Management
  • Reviewing current, and trialling new, assessment tools specifi cally designed for the target group
  • Trialling a dual risk management model which focuses on risks of re-offending and suitability for a choice of selfemployment including motivation, skills and needs gaps
  • Developing integrated, multi-agency risk and offender management plans for robust information sharing and monitoring
Developing Self Employment
  • Establishing prison-based enterprise training, including the drawing up of individual business plans and the development of a small business support network designed to empower benefi ciaries to sustain self-employment
  • Selecting and risk assessing suitable participants for a self employment programme, using assessment and enhanced risk management processes
  • Working with Cheshire & Warrington Business Venture Ltd partners to progress into business start-up post-release


The self employment methodology may work equally well with other groups of ex-offenders. Changing Directions aims to transfer knowledge and models of working to other areas of the Criminal Justice System


Target Groups


Changing Directions works with sex offenders or those who pose a risk to children

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Round 1 to Round 2

HM Prison Service Northwest Area was the lead partner in the Round One IMPACT DP

Core partners


Anna Javed, HM Prison Service, , Shelley Lockett, HM Prison Service,


Action 2: 31 March 2008
Action 3: 31 March 2008

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Business creation


For the last eight years, HM Prison Service, Northwest Area, has worked in partnership with other organisations from the statutory, voluntary and private sectors to enhance its offender employment delivery and lead on much of its resettlement research.

IMPACT is a research project that explores innovative ways of resettling offenders back into the community, by enhancing their chances of gaining and sustaining employment. IMPACT works in the community and in secure establishments in the North West



Intended impact/ sustainability

By challenging stereotypical views amongst SME community and the general public, it is hoped that barriers to the target beneficiary group will be reduced considerably. Project will work pro-actively with focus groups representing agencies from the Small Business Sector and other related organisations

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