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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We've provided answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. We hope they're useful.

The what, when, where, why and how?

What: The Prisoner Rehabilitation Programme - a scheme which uses 1-2-1 mentoring to facilitate the reintegration of offenders into mainstream society.

Who: Offenders currently serving sentences within a prison in the UK

When: Weekly or fortnightly between 8am-7pm, Monday – Saturday.3 to 6 months before release and 3 to 6 months after release

Where: Feltham, Isis and Wormwood Scrubs

Why: The programme started in response to the 12,000 Muslims in prison who were incarcerated due to reoffending upon release. This, we found, was due to the lack of targeted support on release to aid their resettlement back into the community. In other words, most Muslim prisoners had to deal with the stigmatisation attached with being an ex-offender and the ensuing community backlash, which ended up leading to further isolation. With no support from their friends or family, they would often up reoffending, being sent back to prison and going round and round the system. It’s was and is this cycle that the Prison Rehabilitation Programme is still determined to break.

Since its inception in 2014, the programme has since expanded its reach to include non-Muslim prisoners in need of a mentor.

How: Volunteer mentors will be matched with a mentee (offender) to provide 1-2-1 mentoring 3/6 months before release from custody and 3/6 months after release. This will mean visiting the prisoner weekly or fortnightly while in custody. Support will continue once the prisoner has been released into the community and will include a meet and greet at the gate on the prisoner's day of release

Is it safe?

Yes it is very safe. Muslim Aid only works with low-risk prisoners. Each prisoner that comes on to our programme is risk assessed by the prison before he/she is matched with a mentor.

Will there be training provided?

Yes, each of our partners has devised training specific to the requirements of their prison establishment. All volunteers on the programme will be expected to attend this training so that they are adequately equipped with the skills necessary to be a prison mentor.

Age

You must be 21 and over to be considered as a mentor.

How long does it take?

It could take anything from one to three months, from the date of application, before you actually begin to mentor a prisoner. This is as a result of differences in paperwork, local rules and practices between prison establishments. Additionally, volunteer mentors will also need to attend an interview with the prison, training days and undergo security clearance/DBS checks- all of which add to the length of the process.

Do I have to be a Muslim to volunteer with you?

No. We encourage applications from individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life.

I cannot commit to 9 months, are there any other opportunities?

Yes, you can either volunteer in the Visitor’s Centre providing support to families and friends visiting loved ones in prison, ‘meet and greet’ a prisoner on their day of release or volunteer as a chaplain in the prison’s Chaplaincy department,

Next Steps

If you want to become a mentor then fill in the application form. Once this has been completed and returned you will be invited for an informal interview. If successful you will be referred on to one of the partners (prisons) to begin the mentoring process.

If you would like more information either email

PrisonerMentoring@muslimaid.org

Or call 020 7377 4200

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Tel: 020 7377 4200

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