London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, today visited the RESET Project in Lewisham helping 15 -25 year old, young offenders resettle into the Borough.
RESET (Resettlement, Education, Support, Employment and Training) is one of the biggest ever resettlement partnerships led by a voluntary sector organisation. Over two years the organisation has worked with 1000 young offenders helping them find employment in a stable and supported environment.
During her visit, Jean, who is a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, told how important the support from the project was to not only improve opportunities for young people but also to prevent offenders being reconvicted. Jean said; "In 2004 91% of girls and 89% of boys in prison said they wanted to stop offending and they believed that getting a job was the most likely way to help. Even though they felt that they had gained new skills whilst in custody, increasing their chances of finding employment, they still required help and advice to re-establish them selves in the Borough.
"Reasons for young people offending often stem from their lifestyle, routine and family support. Sadly these situations don't often change whilst they are in prison and, without support from organisations such as RESET, their release sees them 'back at square-one' with the temptation to re-offend ever present.
"The work at RESET is really very exciting and could lead to positive changes in the way these issues are handled throughout the rest of the UK."
RESET is part funded by the European Social fund under the Equal Community Initiative Programme.
For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.
RESET (Resettlement, Education, Support, Employment and Training): Helping young people to resettle in to the London Boroughs of Newham, Lewisham and Greenwich
According to the Criminal Justice System 36.9% of juveniles (10 - 17
year olds) who were convicted of crimes in the first 3 months of 2003 were reconvicted
with one year.