Updated: Friday, 17th January 2020 @ 10:25am

Young Manchester men can avoid jail and get life back on track after crime through rehabilitation programme

Young Manchester men can avoid jail and get life back on track after crime through rehabilitation programme

| By Josh Willacy

A rehabilitation programme aimed at helping young me avoid prison and turn their life around is to be rolled out across Greater Manchester.

The Intensive Community Order (ICO) will attempt to make young, male adults face up to their crimes, change their attitudes, learn to be responsible for their behavior and redress any wrong doing.

Through the scheme, offenders undertake community payback activities and are offered education, training and employment opportunities.

It will specifically target men aged from 18-25 men being tried at magistrates, as an alternative to short term custody sentences.

The order is an evolution of the Intensive Alternative to Custody programme, launched as a pilot five years ago in Manchester and Salford, which delivered 10% better outcomes in reducing reoffending than short terms in prison.

Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Ultimately what we want is for there to be fewer victims of crime. It’s been shown that this kind of scheme really does work in reducing reoffending.

“Its intensive nature means it isn’t a soft option – far from it, as offenders are being made to face up to their crimes and see the damage their crimes have caused.”

One offender who has been through ICO said: “ICO has helped me. I’ve improved my maths and literacy and I’ve enrolled on a plumbing course.

“My life was spiraling out of control and now it’s back on track.”

Those placed in the scheme will also be eligible for parenting advice, health and well-being advice, accommodation support, and guidance with alcohol and drug problems.

Mr Lloyd added: “What is absolutely central to its success is that it has been designed in partnership with a range of agencies. Reforming our public services can only happen when agencies work together.

“The probation service is taking the lead here, but they are being supported by all of those organisations in Greater Manchester that work to make our communities safer.”