Millions of pounds of public money has been awarded to mentoring schemes designed to help criminals readjust to life outside prison and tackle substance misuse.
The first awards from a £7.5 million Reducing Reoffending Change Fund have been awarded to 23 organisations.
The first round of investments, totalling £1.5 million, range from £6,656 to £200,000 and are being distributed to organisations across Scotland which run, or are designing, mentoring schemes for those released from custody, to help them comply with court orders, tackle alcohol and drug misuse and return to employment.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "While reconviction rates in Scotland are now at their lowest level in the past 13 years, reoffending rates upon release remain unacceptably high, and the effects on family members can be devastating. Too often we see repeat offenders in and out of prison time and time again.
"It's a vicious circle which does nothing to improve our communities. But we know that mentoring can and does play a role in helping offenders to change their ways. These organisations benefiting today are already carrying out innovative and valuable work in their communities to help individuals move on from their criminal past.
"Earlier this week, I visited (community safety organisation) Sacro in Edinburgh to hear about the success of their mentoring service.
"I met a female service user who told me about the confidence she has gained from working with a Sacro mentor, and has used that to turn her life around and aim towards gaining qualifications.
"Sacro are one of the recipients benefiting today and this money will enable them to expand their good work and work with more service users to help improve their lives and keep them on the straight and narrow."
Tom Halpin, chief executive of Sacro, said: "Sacro warmly welcomes the Scottish Government's award of Reducing Reoffending Change Fund monies. This funding will help Sacro expand its women's mentoring services and also lay the foundations for a public social partnership, which will develop women's mentoring nationally.
"These vital services provide important support to vulnerable women by re-connecting them with their communities and families. The Scottish Government's focus on preventative spending in this area is to be commended."