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 positively. It also seeks to facilitate service users restore positive connections and relationships with their family, friends, community, society and most importantly with themselves.
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 Vicky, Graham or Sheila 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.
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 prisoners serving 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 to imprisonment is a means of positive sentence management offering a chance for change for the prisoner in an effort to break the cycle of repeated short-term imprisonments. The opportunity to serve a sentence in the community rather than in prison is a short-term practical intervention linking those availing of this temporary release programme to services and service providers within their home locality, as a means to improve 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. While the Cork office also supports participants from Kerry, Waterford and surrounding areas.
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 James 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.