This page is here for archive purposes, to showcase PS Plus and European Social Fund (ESF) achievements between 2002 2008. For information on the latest ESF funded National Offender Management Service (NOMS) programme, please click here.
PS Plus
PS Plus
About PS Plus

PS Plus was a prison and community based project that was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and National Offender Management Service (NOMS).

The PS Plus project can be described in three separate and distinct phases:

Phase 1
Worked with over 16,000 offenders across 28 English prison establishments. The project ran from September 2002 until September 2004.
Phase 2
Worked with 33,000 offenders in 39 English prisons and across 3 probation areas. This project ran from September 2004 until March 2007.
Phase 3
Worked with almost 30,000 offenders in 24 prison establishments and across 15 probation areas. The project ran from April 2007 to June 2008.

Over a period of 6 years, PS Plus have successfully drawn £122 million of external ESF funds into the Prison Service, NOMS and the Probation Service making PS Plus the largest single ESF funded project in Europe. It was also the first NOMS project in the UK.

The project helped offenders address their individual barriers to entry into the labour market. By offering education, training and employment support along with supplying information, advice and guidance, PS Plus is directly contributing to the National Re-Offending Action Plan and National and Regional Resettlement strategies which seek to reduce re-offending by people released from prison by helping to find sustainable housing and employment.

In addition, research suggests that being in sustainable employment will reduce the chances of re-offending by between a third and a half (as cited in Reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners, Social Exclusion Unit, 2002). For further research conducted by PS Plus into employment's effect on re-offending click here.

The core aspect of the project was to assist the “hard to help” offenders who had high levels of need and were not ready for employment. PS Plus offers innovative interventions to help offenders become more employable and gain soft outcomes such as confidence and improved self esteem, increased motivation and educational qualifications. PS Plus has a proven track record of successfully gaining appropriate employment for sex offenders and some high-risk offenders. These outcomes were delivered within a Public Protection framework at all times.

PS Plus 3

The third and final phase of PS Plus - PS Plus 3 - saw the project expanding into a number of probation areas, as well as prison establishments. With the development of PS Plus 3, the focus on the sustainability of Education, Training and Employment outcomes became more prevalent, assisting the ongoing objective of the effective reduction of re-offending.

The model developed for PS Plus 2 formed the basis for PS Plus 3, in which an element was the seamless continuation of work from custody into the community. The service was provided by Employment Advice Workers supported by a Beneficiary Access Fund.

The third phase of the PS Plus project incorporated almost half of all English probation areas and was a combination of custodial and community interventions aimed at increasing the employability of beneficiaries. Offenders were able to access the project via a number of routes, either whilst in prison, or by being under probation supervision (on licence post release or on a community order). Offender Managers referred offenders to PS Plus, to enable relevant interventions within a particular area.

Each probation area offered distinct elements of PS Plus, with each model providing a variety of interventions and outcomes. All areas used CATS as the assessment and information management system. PS Plus 3 prisons rolled out in April 2007, establishing a continuation between the custodial and community models.

The prison model combined a focus on soft and hard outcomes, leading to ETE brokerage as beneficiaries moved towards the end of their sentence. The development of an employment brokerage centre allowed a pro-active approach to finding potential employers.

Consideration was also given to the development of ‘workshop’ skills, encouraging offenders to undertake work experience whilst in custody or on licence. To support the offender learning journey, the provision of education and training bridged the transition from custody to community where appropriate, providing continuity and increasing opportunities to complete qualifications.

For more detailed information please continue to the statistics page.

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