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Scotland is currently engaged in one of the biggest penal reform projects in a generation, seeking to fundamentally change its approach to punishment, which is characterised by high use of imprisonment compared to other parts of Europe, and the use of very short prison sentences. In Scotland around three quarters of prison sentences handed down by the courts are for six months or less. But because short sentences are seen as minimally intrusive compared to long-term or life sentences, there has been, until now, little research on their effects.

Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2009 is an essential resource for policy-makers and others wanting to take stock of what is happening and understand the challenges ahead. The report is complemented by a comprehensive website which provides updates to graphs, more analyses and links to other relevant sites.

Response to the Treasury Committee Inquiry on the Spending Review 'To inform Treasury Committee's inquiry on decision-making and other aspects of the recent Spending Review'.

Briefing that examines the implications of the personalisation agenda for social workers.

This report evaluates a pilot project offering personalised budgets to rough sleepers in the City of London. The report presents the outcomes of the pilot for individuals involved, in terms of accommodation, support needs and quality of life; explores how the personalised approach, the personalised
budget and other factors contributed to these outcomes; explores common stages in the journeys that people made from the streets and into accommodation; and considers the sustainability of outcomes and possibilities for replication and expansion.

In 2009, the LGiU’s Children’s Services Network set up a special project in partnership with Practical Participation and other specialists to work with representatives from 30 local authorities. The project has provided useful insights into the mass phenomenon of social networking sites and the
opportunity they present for engaging young people in democratic activity.

The report evaluates the range and effectiveness of the arrangements for education and training for several categories of young people: those identified for their likelihood of offending; young offenders who move into custodial establishments then are transferred between different establishments while in custody; and those who move between custody and the community. The report illustrates good practice and makes recommendations for improvement.

Report on how government deals with the challenge of helping people to make different choices about their health. It focuses on building current approaches, using the latest evidence from areas such as behavioural economics and psychology, to suggest ways in which the government could become more effective in this area, to help people to make healthier choices where they wish to do so.

Community Care guide to the social work profession, examining what social workers do, how someone becomes a social worker, regulation of practice, the social care register and how social work services are organised. It also contains some common questions about social workers and contacts for key social work agencies.

Gardening Leave was set up in 2007 as a horticultural therapy pilot project to enhance the therapeutic experience of ex-military personnel with combat related mental health problems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the Gardening Leave pilot project as a therapeutic intervention for ex-military personnel with combat related mental health problems from the point of view of the veterans who use the service and clinical staff who work with them at the Combat Stress treatment centre.