The charity organisation is raising vital funds to help run the Dublin-based service which offers non-judgemental support to ex-offenders from across Ireland Care After Prison [CAP], is a peer-led organisation which provides support, information and advice to those who have spent time in prison, their families and victims of crime around the country.

The charity organisation, which was established in 2011, has seen an increase of 55% in clients referred through the Irish Prison Service and 40% in clients self-referred to the service during the last quarter. The organisation supports current and former prisoners to prepare them for release and
successful reintegration into society. Uniquely, the team at Care After Prison is made up of those with lived experience of prison as well as other social care professionals – this mixture ensures that the level of trust between support workers and their service users is remarkably high.

Up until the end of October 2017 there were 1126 once off interactions by phone for the CAP Voluntary Project with an additional 468 service users benefiting from the project on a more regular basis. An ex-offender and former drug user from Dublin 8, who was referred to the service while in
prison, explained that using CAP has changed his life dramatically. He said: “I don’t know where I’d be now without CAP. It’s keeping me clean, keeping me focused and my support worker is there to support me whenever I need it. I am learning from all my past mistakes and gaining so
many new skills and I am so grateful for what Care After Prison has done for me.”

Care After Prison also distributes hampers to prisoner’s families during the festive period – with arrangements being made to hand out the items during December. The organisation also plans to roll out a family support programme in the new year. In an effort to raise crucial funds and awareness for Care After Prison staff hosted a Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 14th at Whitefriar Street Church in the heart of Dublin City. The diverse line-up for the night included the High Hopes Choir, Irish poet Louis de Paor accompanied by Sean Duggan on violin, guitarist NC Lawlor with Aine Fury on vocals and Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Those who still wish to support the good work of Care After Prison can visit the website www.careafterprison.ie or text Empower 50300 to donate €2.