The Aberdeen Law Project is delighted to announce its newly established partnership with Her Majesty's Prison Aberdeen.
Within the Criminal Sector of The Aberdeen Law Project, the main aim is to reduce re-offending by encouraging the re-integration and rehabilitation of prisoners back into the community. This partnership with HMP Aberdeen will see students from the project educate, advise and support prisoners so that they may reintegrate effectively upon their release.
Katie Spearman, Head of the Criminal Sector, commenting upon the launch of the partnership, stated that,
“There is a lot of speculation as to how re-offending should be tackled. Current policies are often criticised, yet many critics fail to propose any viable alternatives as to how to address the current situation. We, The Aberdeen Law Project, believe it is crucial that services exist to meet the current needs of individual prisoners prior to release. It is for this reason that we have established a link with HMP Aberdeen.
“Ensuring that prisoners have the confidence and ability to enter employment, whilst assisting in the establishment of strong family links before release, will form the foundation on which they can build a settled and productive lifestyle. This will hopefully reduce re-offending – benefitting the prisoner, their family and the community.”
Initially our partnership with HMP Aberdeen will be focussed upon the female quarters at the prison. Women held at the facility are low-risk offenders. Those within the facility have been moved to Aberdeen to finish their prison sentences closer to their home and their family. The aim is to strengthen family relationships before the women are released. Students from The Aberdeen Law Project will be working with the women at HMP Aberdeen to improve their employment prospects. Education sessions will provide guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as well as practical advice on seeking employment with a criminal record.
The Governor of HMP Aberdeen, Audrey Mooney, has welcomed the partnership and shares our enthusiasm for the proposed initiatives, she stated that,
“Staff and prisoners at HMP Aberdeen are very appreciative of the offer made by the Aberdeen Law project to work in partnership. The expertise and influence that the representatives will bring is not only invaluable in assisting our prisoners to understand their rights, but will have a direct impact on the confidence and assertiveness of those leaving prison.
“Lack of knowledge can often lead to missed opportunities and a subsequent return to criminal behaviour. It is exciting that we have been selected to be part of this innovative and worthwhile initiative.”