transformation from the inside out
The Irish Prison Service repots that 62% of those released from prison in Ireland reoffend within 3 years. For many of these offenders, the most significant factor in their decision to commit a crime was the lack or loss of personal relationships, followed by lack of accommodation or employment and addiction issues.
It is estimated that each case of reoffending that is prevented could save the public purse €68,959 per prisoner per year.
*Figures taken from the Irish Prison Service 2014 Annual Report and 2013 Recidivism Study
Release envisions a safe, and yet a compassionate Ireland, where people with offenses are supported to live transformed lives.
We build relationships and self-worth; empowering prisoners and ex-offenders to participate positively in their communities.
As a means of community reintegration, we match prisoners 1-1 with our trained volunteer mentors, an invaluable source of authentic compassion and encouragement. These relationships begin in prison, andwhere possible, continue beyond the completion of the service user's sentence.
Release focusses prisoners on re-entry – helping service users to set goals and providing practical referrals.
We create safe spaces; fostering honesty, empathy and relationship-building through our group work in prisons. Group courses include Alpha, Recovery, Parenting, and Music Nights. We also facilitate neutral venue visits in our office and Family Group Decision Making as prisoners prepare for return to the community.
We maintain high expectations of our service users but provide them with a high degree of support. Release advocates for our service users, at times acting as a line manager for employers, landlords, or welcoming church congregations.
In 2016, Release volunteers supported 122 prisoners and ex-offenders.
Release is founded on the belief that we are all created in the image of God, regardless of who we are, what we have done, or where we come from. No life is beyond the reach of initiating and unconditional love. We see the whole person, and pursue fulfillment of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health for each of our service users.
Release serves all ExOffenders equally - regardless of faith, tradition, gender, sexuality, marital or family status, age, disability, nationality, or category of offense. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of transparency and are regulated by the Charities Regulatory Authority (CHY:21622). Release is actively working towards full compliance with the Governance Code for charities, and is an organisation committed to restorative practice.
Incorporated in 2015, Release is now a CHY-registered nonprofit organisation with over 50 trained, Irish Prison Service approved volunteers. Release is proud to mobilise team members who are in recovery, ExOffenders, and from all walks of life to carry out our services. In order to provide holistic support, we join arms with partner organisations, including Alpha Ireland, the International Institute for Restorative Practice, the Irish Prison Service, Jobcare, and a network of supporting employers, landlords, and churches.