FAI Publications

New Report: Exploring the impact of mentoring-based throughcare, an update

The main aim of the New Routes programme is to reduce reoffending in Scotland by supporting individuals to reintegrate into their communities beyond their prison sentence and build a sustainable future through inclusion in society. The scheme provides mentoring and support six months pre-release and post-release from prison.

New Routes is offered to individuals serving short term sentences – under 4 years – which are not serious crime or sexual offence related.

Our analysis covers the period from 4th April 2021 to 19th May 2023, and analyses over 2,300 individual user journeys in this period.

This research provided an update to our previous report, Rehabilitating Scotland: Exploring the impact of mentoring-based throughcare, and uses the Wise Group’s customer data to explore the numbers related to New Routes.

Our key findings include:

  • There were just over 3,000 individuals referred to New Routes over the past two years, of which 98% agreed to start the programme.
  • 80%, or 2,341 of these individuals conducted a first stage baseline assessment, with 1,413 completing a second, 621 a third, and 189 a fourth assessment.
  • 1 in 5 individuals who opted to participate in new routes left the programme with a scheduled exit; 2 in 5 left the programme early, with the remaining 20% having no exit type recorded.
  • Similar to our previous analysis, Employment and Finance were the most identified needs for individuals on New Routes.
  • When comparing individuals need score between their first and last assessment, those with a finance need improved the most (38%), with addictions second highest (28%).
  • Increasing pro social attitudes, networks and non-criminal identity (S3) was the most worked towards outcome in recent years, with a 77% achievement rate.
  • Increased motivation to engage with interventions (S2) had a near 100% success rate.
  • Reintegration/acceptance into social networks and community was the most worked towards medium term outcome, with 56% of individuals achieving M3.

This analysis has been prepared by the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) at the University of Strathclyde. The technical analysis, methodology and writing of the results was undertaken independently by the FAI. This analysis was commissioned and supported by the Wise Group.

To read the full report, click here


Ben is an economist at the Fraser of Allander Institute working across a number of projects areas. He has a Masters in Economics from the University of Edinburgh, and a degree in Economics from the University of Strathclyde.

His main areas of focus are economic policy, social care and criminal justice in Scotland. Ben also co-edits the quarter Economic Commentary and has experience in business survey design and dissemination.

Emma Congreve is a Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Deputy Director at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Emma's work at the Institute is focussed on policy analysis, covering a wide range of areas of social and economic policy.  Emma is an experienced economist and has previously held roles as a senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as an economic adviser within the Scottish Government.