A Troika Soft Skills Programme involving Education Centres, the Work Training Service and IASIO personnel delivers the following interpersonal skills courses with FETAC accreditation: preparation for work; personal awareness and interpersonal skills; personal effectiveness; personal care and presentation; self advocacy.
The IASIO GATE Service, funded by the Irish Prison Service, provides training, education and employment placement service to prisoners in the Mountjoy, Wheatfield and Midlands campuses. There are 4 Training and Employment Officers (TEO) assigned to Gate. Other Prisons are serviced by 'inreach' Linkage TEOs.
IASIO also provide a resettlement service on behalf of the IPS. Targetted resettlement schemes have been shown internationally to have a positive impact on the resettlement and desistance of ex-prisoners. The resettlement initiative operates in Cork, Castlerea, Loughan House and the Training Unit.
The Probation Service provides reintegration services for prisoners. The main goal of Probation Officers in prisons is helping to reduce reoffending. They work mainly with prisoners who will be under Probation supervision on release. This includes prisoners serving life sentences and those ordered by the Courts to be under post-release supervision. Probation Officers work as part of a prison-based team, helping prisoners manage their sentence and planning for resettlement back into the community without committing further crime. The Probation role ranges from assessment and case planning and management, to specific anti-offending behaviour programmes, family work, seeking solutions to employment, housing and mental heath needs, and generally helping prisoners prepare for release. Further information is available on the Probation Service website.
Appropriate and accessible accommodation is a vital factor in successful rehabilitation. It is crucial to sustaining employment, treatment, family support and finances. The issue of homelessness among ex-prisoners is an ongoing problem.
- The Homeless Persons’ Unit of the Health Service Executive provides an in-reach community welfare service to 12 prisons. This service ensures that prisoners at risk of homelessness on release have direct access to accommodation and income support. Figures for 2011 indicate that 1,639 prisoners accessed this service.
- Focus Ireland operates a pilot homeless service in Cloverhill Prison providing a case management and pre-settlement service for homeless remand prisoners. The service supports participants in accessing appropriate services and accommodation and on the pathway to independent living.
- Focus Ireland also provide, with the help of Dormant Accounts funding, homelessness support services to prisoners in Cork and Limerick prisons.
The Irish Prison Service is represented on the Cross-Departmental Team on Homelessness, the National Homeless Consultative Committee and a range of other fora to advance the case of prisoners. The Irish Prison Service is also represented on seven Regional Homeless Consultative Fora established under the provisions of the Housing (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2009.