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A 'bold intiative to help female offenders rehabiliate'

Venture Trust's 'Next Steps' women's programme was featured in the Herald newspaper on Tuesday 9th October 2012. Through discussions with three women who've taken part in the programme, the article highlights the life-changing impact of Venture Trust, and its relevance to the political climate emerging from the Commission on Women Offenders.

The article reports that it [the Next Steps programme] 'is the type of initiative likely to become more common in Scotland as its approach reflects many of the key recommendations put forward by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini in her report on women offenders published in April.

One of its central aspects was the importance of addressing the high number of low-level women offenders who ended up in prison as a result of addiction, abuse and poor mental health. Responding to Dame Angiolini's report, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill stressed that for female offending to fall, vulnerable women needed help in tackling those issues'.

Margaret, one of the women featured in the article, describes standing terrified on the edge of a pier deciding whether or not to take the plunge. Today it's become a metaphor for her new confident approach to life.

"It was the most frightened I'd ever been. The rain was pouring down, the sky was black, the sea dark, yet I jumped.

"Now whenever I'm worried about doing something I think back to how I plucked up the courage to give the pier-jump a go and even though I'm anxious I know I can always try."

You can find the full Herald article here, and find out more about Next Steps on our programme pages.

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