Midas Scotland

Paul J. Ferris aims to motivate repeat offenders to change their lives for the better

KILMARNOCK, UNITED KINGDOM, April 10, 2013, Paul J. Ferris, Chief Executive of the Scotland division of MIDAS, was recently named a VIP member of Worldwide Who’s Who. This special distinction honors individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to achieving personal and professional success.

From his years engaging in a life of crime, Paul Ferris knows firsthand that the lure of fast money and all the perks it can bring continually draws ex-offenders back into the correctional system. Many of them have spent their lives trying to break the cycle. Realizing that Scotland’s reoffending rates have remained extremely high over recent years, Mr. Ferris became involved with the MIDAS organization, a nonprofit endeavor that aims to motivate nonprofit to change their lives for the better. In addition to the innovative vision and real-world experience of its founders, MIDAS offers educational opportunities and the guidance of social workers and psychologists to help redirect individuals on a path toward self-improvement.

Mr. Ferris engages in one-on-one dialogue with clients to determine the best course of action for regaining control of their lives. Whether it is through substance abuse intervention or mental health therapy to address a range of psychological issues, he helps facilitate services for youths and adults that reconnect them with society at large. With plans for the organization to establish a center providing enrichment and entertainment outlets for people of all ages, Mr. Ferris hopes to increase its outreach to include sports programs and professional training initiatives and apprenticeships. As he coordinates with fellow executives and key figures in his community, he looks forward to raising awareness of the MIDAS cause and spreading its message internationally.

Certified in substance abuse, wellness and enhanced thinking skills through Durham University, Mr. Ferris also hopes to complete his formal education in the years to come. Among his other interests are social justice, governmental issues, advertising, and media relations.

MIDAS/CEN: Scotland’s repeat offending rates

Official figures released in 2010 show that of the 53,260 offenders sentenced in 2006/07, 23,419 were reconvicted of another crime within two years. This is 12 per cent higher than in 1998/99. While the reconviction rate fell slightly to 44 per cent, this is the highest annual number of recidivists on record, beating the previous year’s figure by 16. The new figures show that 72 per cent of criminals handed a prison sentence of less than six months are reconvicted within two years of their release, compared with 40 per cent of those given a fine and 42 per cent handed community service.

The number of criminals in Scotland who commit more offences shortly after completing their sentences is at its highest level since devolution. A report by the think tank Civitas found that locking up fewer criminals will not cut costs or reoffending.

Reoffending rates in Scotland have remained extremely high over the last decade. An independent evaluation of the Routes Out of Prison project by the University of Edinburgh found that of the 1,500 ex-offenders helped between 2008 and 2010 40% have reoffended. This compared with a national recidivism rate of 44%. Many went into employment, training or education or were supported out of homelessness and into drug rehabilitation services.

Despite the entire budget for reducing reoffending each year by the Government, the same old methods used time and time again under different packaging have shown little effect. The MIDAS path is a new, innovative and motivational vision designed to suit individual needs, which was born from the perspectives of the victims of crime, real life experiences of the founders, that is combined with the expertise of the MIDAS Academic Team. MIDAS never discriminates and is always eager to listen to those who are trying to excel.