Photo: Includem image. This photo was taken at an Includem event where the First Minister officially opened Includem’s new head office

What is a Public Social Partnership (PSP)?

The Scottish Government’s Guide to Forming and Operating Public-Social Partnerships defines PSPs as, “A strategic partnering arrangement which involves the third sector earlier and more deeply in the design and commissioning of public services”.

The Public Social Partnership approach is currently being tested through a number of different criminal justice initiatives, many of which involve CJVSF members, and an article in the March 2014 edition of Scottish Justice Matters considered whether PSPs are ‘the way forward for better justice services in Scotland?’.

On this page, you can find information about:

  • the six PSPs which are funded through the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund
  • the PSP which has been established at HMP Low Moss.

We are always interested to hear from third sector organisations about their experiences of PSPs.  If you have any feedback which you would like to share or are involved in any other criminal justice PSPs which you would like to see added to this page, please get in touch.

Reducing Reoffending Change Fund PSPs

The Reducing Reoffending Change Fund (RRCF) is one of three change funds created by the Scottish Government to help drive a shift towards preventative spending.   It consists of funding from the Scottish Government, The Robertson Trust and the Scottish Prison Service. The fund has two key aims:

  • to provide women involved in offending and young men involved in prolific offending with substantial one-to-one support through evidence-based mentoring schemes
  • to promote strong, equal partnership working between third and public sector organisations.

Reducing Reoffending Change Fund -Year 1

In Year 1 (2012/13), the Scottish Government awarded funding to support the development of partnerships or expansion/enhancement of existing mentoring interventions.  A list of the organisations awarded funding in year one can be found here.

Findings from the Year 1 evaluation showed that, “interviewees felt that strong partnership working occurred during the PSP development process.  They also highlighted that co-production and extensive service user consultation had a positive impact on the quality of mentoring services developed.”

A summary of the Year 1 evaluation findings, along with the full Year 1 evaluation report, can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Reducing Reoffending Change Fund -Years 2 and 3

In years 2 and 3 (2013/14 and 2014/15) of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund, funding was awarded to six PSPs.  These comprised two national partnerships and four local ones:

  • New Routes
  • Shine Women’s Mentoring Service
  • Barnardos/Action for Children PSP
  • Includem IMPACT
  • Chance to Change PSP
  • Tayside Reducing Reoffending PSP

Further details about each PSP are provided below.


The Scottish Government has published an independent evaluation of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund, exploring the development of the PSPs and the delivery of mentoring services during years 2 and 3.  A summary of the findings is also available here.

The research found that mentoring is an effective approach, which helps mentees to learn and implement constructive, non-criminal ways of addressing problems in their lives and to reduce risk factors associated with offending behaviour, and concluded that there is a clear case for the continuation and expansion of mentoring services to support offenders’ rehabilitation and reintegration.

New Routes    new routes logo

New Routes is a national mentoring service for young men involved in prolific offending.  It offers male short term prisoners under the age of 25 a ‘through-the-gate’ support service providing practical and emotional support to help them move back into the community and begin to build a life free of offending.

New Routes is delivered by a PSP led by The Wise Group.  The partnership also involves Sacro, APEX, Turning Point Scotland, CIRCLE, YCSA, Families Outside and SAMH, Community Justice Authorities (CJAs), the Scottish Prison Service, local authorities through Social Work Scotland (SWS), the National Prisoner Healthcare Network and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in an advisory capacity on employability support and benefits.


The Shine Women’s Mentoring Service offers women practical and emotional support to help them to develop their independence and quality of life, improve their social skills and motivation and work towards addressing a life free of offending.

The service is available for women, over the age of 18, from across Scotland who are on remand, carrying out short-term sentences and not subject to statutory supervision. It is also offered to women subject to Community Payback Orders and at high risk of custody.

The Women’s Mentoring Service is delivered by a PSP led by Sacro. Other partners include: Apex Scotland, Barnardo’s, Circle, The Wise Group, Turning Point Scotland, Access to Industry, Venture Trust, Scottish Prison Service, Social Work Scotland and the Criminal Justice Authorities.

The service is being evaluated by Ipsos MORI Scotland and evaluation findings can be downloaded from the Shine website.

Barnardos/Action for Children PSP

The Barnardos / Action for Children PSP is delivering throughcare support services for young men who offend, in Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and the Highlands.  It provides transitional support both during and after custody, using mentoring interventions to reintegrate back into the community and facilitate a positive destination.

The PSP comprises Action for Children, Barnardos, East Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Highland Councils, and Strathclyde and South West Scotland CJAs.”

Includem IMPACT IMPACT cropped

Includem IMPACT is a PSP delivering a programme of intensive support and mentoring to young people involved in prolific violent and alcohol-related offending in Glasgow.  The IMPACT project takes a preventative perspective, targeting these individuals to change their attitudes and behaviours, to reduce violent re-offending and prevent them being drawn into a cycle of custodial sentences.

The PSP comprises Includem, Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland, One Glasgow, NHS Greater Glasgow Health Board, DWP and the Crown Office

The programme is being evaluated by the Social Research Unit and initial evaluation findings are available on the Includem website.

Tayside Reducing Reoffending PSP

The Tayside Reducing Reoffending PSP is providing support services for men and women involved in offending in the Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Angus regions.

The PSP is led by Tayside Council on Alcohol and includes Police Scotland, Dundee City Council, Perth and Kinross Council, Angus Council, Tayside Community Justice Authority and Churches Action for the Homeless (CATH).

Chance to Change PSP

The Chance to Change PSP is providing mentoring for young people who offend, with a particular focus on employability.  Its service covers the South Lanarkshire area.

The public-social partnership is led by Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire and includes Routes to Inclusion (South Lanarkshire Council), Routes to Work South and Lanarkshire Community Justice Authority.

Reducing Reoffending Change Fund – Beyond 2015

In June 2014, the Scottish Government announced an extension to the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund which will support the continuation of the six Public Social Partnerships (PSPs) mentioned above.   The full press release can be read here.

HMP Low Moss PSPPSP logo

What is the Low Moss Public Social Partnership?

The Low Moss Prisoner Support Pathway is a public social partnership (PSP) which was developed with the aim of helping to reduce the very high rate of re-offending amongst our short term prison population.

The PSP team is based in the Links Centre in HMP Low Moss in Bishopbriggs and is a multi-disciplinary staff team from Turning Point Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service, Sacro and Action for Children.

The Pathway Practitioners (keyworkers) provide support to any short term sentenced prisoner in HMP Low Moss who is not subject to any statutory licence conditions or supervision orders on release.  Every person who refers into the service is seen by a member of the PSP team, receives appropriate interventions and is allocated a keyworker, if required. The keyworker will work with the individual for the duration of their prison sentence and for up to twelve months in the community after release. The keyworker will support the individual to address issues surrounding housing/homelessness, addictions, mental health and social functioning with the aim of reducing those offending behaviours which bring the individual into custody.

The Low Moss PSP partner agencies are Turning Point Scotland (lead agency), North Strathclyde and Glasgow Community Justice Authorities, Scottish Prison Service, CJSW teams, Job Centre Plus, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board, Local Authority Housing Teams, Police Scotland and voluntary sector agencies Sacro, Action for Children, Families Outside and the Wise Group. The five voluntary sector organisations represent a much wider cohort of approximately thirty three sector partners.

Click here to read the Ready for Business Case Study about the Low Moss PSP.


The Scottish Government, The Robertson Trust and the Big Lottery Fund Scotland have all provided funding to the project.

The Low Moss PSP Model

The core principle of the prisoner pathway is the timely delivery of individualised and responsive prisoner support before, during and after liberation.  The nine offender outcomes have been identified as the main areas where people will need support:

  • Sustained or improved physical and mental wellbeing
  • Reduced or stabilised substance misuse
  • Reduced risk taking
  • Increased self sufficient living
  • Increased access to and sustained suitable accommodation
  • Offenders apply problem solving and anger management skills in everyday lives
  • Maintained or improved relationships with families, peers and community
  • Qualifications gained and new skills used/developed/practised
  • Employment increased

Support for PSPs

Looking for support with creating, developing, managing or sustaining a PSP?

Ready for Business has launched its PSP Advice Point service and also has a range of resources relating to PSPs on its website.

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