Shelton Abbey’s Civic Engagement Work Programme is one response to the then Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence Alan Shatter’s call in 2013 for innovative ideas to help reduce recidivism. It is an opportunity to provide suitable prisoners with certain transferable skills and the associated increase in self-worth that will enhance their desistance efforts following release from Shelton Abbey Prison. This is delivered prior to release back into the community. Allowing prisoners to volunteer in the local community on day release builds on the principles of community participation, offender desistance and most importantly, rehabilitation and re-integration back into the community.
The Programme is a partnership between Shelton Abbey Prison, the Probation Service based in the prison, IASIO’s Linkage Service and The Wicklow Partnership. It promotes and supports local community development and works towards social inclusion for all.
To date, Shelton Abbey’s Civic Engagement Work Programme has partnered with the Tinahely Agricultural Show, Ceolta’s Hall in Wicklow town; Aughrim Parish Church and Community Hall; Tiglin Residential Treatment Centre, and painting and repair of posts for Wexford Show Jumping. The partnership is also involved with community groups in developing the rural walks scheme in Wicklow.