82% of AD:EPT2 participants did not return to custody

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82% of AD:EPT2 participants did not return to custody and 88.5% reduced their alcohol use These are the results of an independent interim evaluation of Start360's AD:EPT2 service, carried out by Fiona Boyle Associates.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund ‘s Impact of Alcohol programme, AD:EPT2 is a throughcare service for those leaving custody who have identified issues with their alcohol use. They are supported for six weeks pre-release and up to six months post-release. The service also provides family support for those who need it. AD:EPT2 provides help with reducing or ceasing substance use, finding accommodation, development of improved wellbeing, sorting out finances and moving into training or employment.

The key results of the AD:EPT2 service evaluation include:

  • 370 people took part in AD:EPT2 in its first two years of operation
  • 82% across the two years did not return to custody
  • 88.5% across the two years reported a reduction in alcohol use

A service user interviewed for the evaluation said, ‘You build that bond before you come out. On other projects they don’t know anything about you. But on this one they get to know you, know your personality’. A family member who availed of the family support service, said, ‘She is well informed, helps you to put your priorities in order – when he came out of prison I was all over the place and walking on egg shells. She has helped me and other family members.’

Anne-Marie McClure, Chief Executive of Start360, said, ‘I’m delighted to say that on average, over the course of the first two years, 82% of our service users did not reoffend. In addition, 88.5% have reported a reduction in their alcohol use. Those two figures really show the impact of the service and the clear need for mainstreamed funding for throughcare provision.’

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said, ‘Our Impact of Alcohol programme is addressing the issues caused by alcohol misuse in communities across Northern Ireland, including in our prisons.

‘We are delighted to see the difference the AD:EPT2  project is making to the lives of people moving from prison back into their communities. It’s great to see the learning feeding back into this project and we are looking forward to seeing how it continues to develop over the next two years.’