bthechange was started after the founder member had experienced being on the wrong side of the criminal justice system having had a law abiding life up to that point. His experience of the criminal justice system and the impact on his own life made him convinced that there was a need for more help for first time offenders. He realised that without support first time offenders are likely to reoffend, or to have lives impacted negatively for the rest of their lives.
Nationally 60% of first time offenders go on to reoffend within a year of sentence, of those who have been mentored and supported by bthechange the rate is 2%. Whilst it is recognised that to date the clients have self-referred and therefore may be more willing to address their future, the statistics are very encouraging and suggest that those who are offered the opportunities provided through bthechange are finding ways to make positive changes and avoid further offending behaviour.
At present bthechange has a bank of NOCN Peer mentor qualified volunteers that are providing peer support and transition training for clients requiring help throughout Devon & Cornwall. It is important to the services provided that all staff have themselves been through the criminal justice process or have a great insight into the criminal justice system. The majority of our front line staff are ex-clients of bthechange.
Our social impact is two-fold: