Desistance & Integration Support Programme
The Desistance and Integration Support Programme is available to all soon-to-be and recently released prisoners returning to or living in the Cork area.
Access to the Cork Alliance Centre is voluntary. Our work supports people on release from prison to become generally better equipped to manage their lives more positively. It seeks to facilitate people who use our service to restore positive connections and relationships with their family, friends, community, society and most importantly with themselves. The "desistance" process is a multifaceted and complex one. It requires time, effort and support to bring the changes into your life that are needed.
Referrals are primarily made through the
Probation Service and the Irish Prison Service. We welcome self-referrals,
referrals from family members, and from other service providers who are
concerned about someone in prison or recently released. Our referral process is
quick and easy, and a phone call to our office will result in an appointment at
your earliest convenience, or we will link in with the person in
Prison during the in-reach visits.
If you are a family member or service provider you can complete the referral form.
When you start to link with the Cork Alliance Centre you will meet a Support Worker, who does just that - supports you as you move from prison to the community. Supports you to look at what brought you into prison, what you need to do to move your life away from it, and supports you to do just that as you bring the changes into your life that are needed.
Please see the Support Services section for further details on the supports available on this programme.
The remit of the Cork Alliance Centre does not extend to offering supports to sex offenders.
Community Support Scheme (CSS)
All referrals to CSS are made by the Irish Prison Service, and all decisions granting temporary releases under CSS are made by the Irish Prison Service.
CSS is run in conjunction with the Irish Prison Service, and offers people serving prison sentences between 3 and 12 months the opportunity to serve part of their sentence in the community rather than in the prison. This constructive community based alternative is a means of positive sentence management offering a chance for change in an effort for people to break the cycle of repeated short-term imprisonments. It is a short-term practical intervention linking those availing of this temporary release programme to services within their home locality, as a means of improving the individual’s chances of sustaining life outside of prison.
The Cork Alliance Centre support the CSS programme in Cork Prison and the Portlaoise Prison Complex (Portlaoise and Midlands prisons). The programme extends beyond Cork residents with outreach support provided in the community in Portlaoise for those who engage in the programme. The Cork office also supports participants from Kerry, Waterford and surrounding areas.
When you start to link with the Cork Alliance Centre you will meet a CSS Community Support Coordinator, who does just that - helps you coordinate your sentence in the community to ensure that you have access to the most appropriate supports available for you, in your own home locality, as you bring the changes into your life that are needed.
see the Support Services section for further details on the supports available on this
Recruit Prison Officer Training
The Cork Alliance Centre is also one of the agencies involved in the training of new Recruit Prison Officers. We co-facilitate a workshop in the Irish Prison Service College with a former client. It is part of the innovative community focus of the Recruit Prison Officer training, including the user voice. We seek to provide Recruit Prison Officers with an insight into peoples journey into prison, life inside and what happens on release. We explore the desistance and change process and the important role they can play in it.
We also participate in the Social Action Volunteer Project, where Recruit Prison Officers can choose to do a placement in our Centre.
The Cork Alliance Centre staff present on their work both at a local and national level. This involves engaging with universities and colleges, local and national government, and associated organisations (state, semi-state and not-for-profit sectors).
We also host college student visits.