Key4Life: Full report: Somerset charity helping young offenders

Some of them have stabbed people, some of them have shot people but a Somerset based charity is proving that the toughest young offenders can be shown a different path
Key4Life based near Somerton in Somerset claims over 18 months it’s broken the cycle of re-offending from 74 per cent of cases to 8 per cent. And it says it can transform lives for a fraction of the cost of prison or care.
Early findings reveal:

On the Key4Life programme, a young person:

*is helped with emotional management
*starts to create focused and detailed plans for their future and work
*thinks about changing their social circle on release
*commits to improving positive relationships with those that matter most

Challenges include:

*no continuity of support pre and post release
*the post-release support that exists varies greatly in terms of amount and quality

Key4Life is helping by:

*providing a bridge between prison and outside
*building trust
*finding jobs so that the young offenders are not left to go back to old habits and lifestyles
*including the young offender’s family in any plan
*taking them out of their gangs and helping them focus on their own lives
*communicating in a way that they can respond to through music, the arts, nature and animals

“Key4Life has made me think more and you can turn to them for help, extra support, and I don’t feel as though I am on my own.” (young offender)

“It gives them a chance, an opportunity to come out and not go back to their old life, my son’s taken an opportunity and grabbed it, an opportunity that no one but Key4Life has ever given him.” (A mother)