NIACRO delivers services that support training, employment and social integration in prisons and the community in Northern Ireland. The Pilgrim Trust funded a senior practitioner post in the Assisting People and Communities Programme. (APAC).

photo for pilgrim trust

NIACRO Developed the APAC Women project to work specifically with women who have offended, supporting them to make positive choices and assisting them to reintegrate successfully into their community.

The APAC Women’s team works closely with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), which refers women under supervision and connects with a range of community based services in their area, including Women’s Centres. This relationship is known as the INSPIRE partnership model, which operates through regular meetings between PBNI, the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Women’s Support Network, NIACRO and service providers in the local area.
An evaluation of the pilot INSPIRE Project found that of those women who engaged with the project: 78% did not commit any further offences; 70% changed their attitude towards their offending; and 76% reported improvements in their self esteem. Additionally, many reported a range of other benefits including improvements to physical and mental health.

The Pilgrim Trust’s grant supported the delivery of a number of tailored programmes to women in Women’s Centres, including a ‘taster’ programme for women on probation in the Mid–Ulster area and a personal development course for women in the North West area.

Easton, H. and Matthews, R. (2011) Evaluation of the Inspire Women’s Project. London South Bank University. Link:

Images with kind permission of NIACRO