Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1.1. To support the delivery of London’s female offender strategy, NHS England (London region) provided MOPAC with £120,000 in February 2017 to develop peer mentoring services.
1.2. In consultation with stakeholders, two models for delivering peer mentoring services were identified as being the most effective in supporting women in reducing their reoffending: mentors with similar backgrounds to the female offenders who can provide social/emotional peer support, and business professionals who can provide female offenders with advice for obtaining employment.
2. Issues for consideration
Lambeth funding allocation
2.1. MOPAC currently part-fund the Beth Centre through the London Crime Prevention Fund (LCPF). As the Beth Centre has been running since January 2014 it has a pool of potential mentors who could work with women currently receiving support from the Centre. In previous years the Beth Centre employed a peer mentoring coordinator who delivered a peer mentoring programme - this funding will provide the Beth Centre with the capacity to restart this programme and deliver it on a larger scale across the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Croydon over financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19.
2.2. To streamline the administration, this paper proposes to amalgamate this grant award with MOPAC’s LCPF contribution to the London Borough of Lambeth. MOPAC will not therefore have a direct commissioning relationship with Women in Prison but will require Lambeth to provide yearly reporting information in line with the LCPF annual review process.
Business peer mentors
2.3 Working Chance, a charitable social enterprise that helps women with criminal convictions to find work, has attracted private investment from four large corporate sponsors to develop a peer mentoring network which connects business people (mentors) with women with criminal convictions (mentees) to help them find work. This funding will be used in financial year 2017/18 to recruit a coordinator to deliver the business peer mentor project which has been in development. The award of this funding is subject to agreeing the terms of the grant agreement.
3. Financial Comments
3.1 The grant will be funded from the £120,000 lump sum received by MOPAC in financial year 2016/17 from NHS England (London region) to support London’s whole system approach to supporting female offenders. There is no restriction on MOPAC’s ability to carry this forward to future years.
4. Legal Comments
4.1 MOPAC has received funds from NHS England (London region) for a specific purpose and is proposing to apply those funds to that purpose.
4.2 MOPAC should ensure that the grant agreements it enters into in respect of this funding (including the proposed grant agreement with London Borough of Lambeth, amalgamated with LCPF) provide for reporting of sufficient frequency, detail and reliability to allow proper monitoring of use of funds, and outputs. In this regard MOPAC officers should consult TfL Legal’s Commercial Law team as appropriate.
5. Equality Comments
5.1. While services are to be provided under the proposed grants for women and not for men, it is permissible to provide services just for women where (among other possible grounds), if the services were provided for men and women jointly, it would not be as effective.