Choices group programme
The Choices group programme has been funded by the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner in 2015/6 and 2016/17. We developed the programme locally following a review of our services – and have aimed to create a safe space, where women with similar experiences of having gone through the criminal justice system can reflect on their lives and how they want to make positive and healthy choices as they move forward towards the future.
Women’s Diversion Scheme
We work jointly with Bedfordshire Police in a YouTurn Futures project to divert women who have committed certain low level offences away from the criminal justice system. Women eligible and volunteering for the programme as an alternative to a criminal justice disposal are referred to Stepping Stones and must attend on three occasions. After this point women are able to continue to engage with us on a voluntarily basis.
During the three sessions we work with the woman to think about why they offended and if there are elements of their lives that they want to change to avoid getting in the same situation again.
Since the programme started in April 2016 we have helped women to secure accommodation, make sure their child is able to attend school, leave an abusive relationship, obtain legal advice and improve their mental and physical health.