Almost £250,000 is to be invested in programmes to help support women offenders and reduce the level of reoffending in Northamptonshire, thanks to new funding from the Ministry of Justice.
A group of organisations led by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and The Good Loaf successfully submitted a bid to the MOJ, which made £3.5m in grants available across the country as part of its female offender strategy.
The funding, which is to be spent over two years, will enable the setting up of a second Good Loaf facility in Kettering to divert women who are at risk of being drawn into crime, or those who have already committed low-level offences.
The Good Loaf is a highly-successful social enterprise bakery in Overstone Road, Northampton, which provides work programmes and job opportunities for women wanting to break the cycle of unemployment, offending and poverty.
The new site in Kettering will be the hub for a dedicated service providing practical support tailored to address the specific needs of women and the causes of their offending behaviour.
There will be early intervention programmes to divert women from crime as well as structured work experience and training for ex-offenders. Community treatment programmes will also be provided as an alternative to custody for women who have committed low-level offences.
Women will also be able to access to a number of specialist agencies at the site, which should be open in Spring 2019.
The bid also involves the National Probation Service, BeNCH CRC, Sunflower, Voice and the University of Northampton, working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner and The Good Loaf.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I am really pleased and encouraged that the Ministry of Justice has selected our bid and chosen to back further investment in reducing crime and supporting women in Northamptonshire.
“We know that the tailored, high quality approach we have been providing for women offenders – or those at risk of offending – in Northampton has been very successful. This funding will allow us to support even more women, breaking the cycle of offending by tackling the problems that are leading them into crime and helping to turn their lives around.”
Suzy Van Rooyen, Chief Executive Officer of The Good Loaf, said: “We feel privileged to be funded by The Ministry of Justice to expand our work in the county alongside our criminal justice colleagues. We would like to thank the Police & Crime Commissioners Office for driving this initiative and look forward to seeing better outcomes for the ladies we work with, their families and the local community.”