Thousands of offenders will be diverted away from crime by the expansion of a catering training scheme in prisons across England and Wales.
1) The Clink Kitchens training programme to expand to up to 70 prisons
2) Training reduces reoffending rates by 32% and will transform the lives and prospects of thousands of offenders
3) Part of government’s commitment to build back safer by cutting reoffending, which costs the taxpayer £18 billion a year
Over the next 3 years, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and The Clink charity have agreed to extend their training programme, currently already operating in HMPs High Down, Cardiff, Brixton and Styal, to offenders working in an additional 70 prison kitchens.
Following successful pilots, training will continue at HMPs Bristol and Styal and from the end of April they will be first joined by Eastwood Park, Send and Downview with a steady further rollout creating opportunities to help as many as two thousand offenders into employment and away from crime for good.
Boosting access to work and safe accommodation for prison leavers will also help build back safer communities by cutting crime and reducing reoffending, which costs the taxpayer £18 billion each year.
Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer MP, said:
This expansion of the catering programme is testament to the thousands of training and job opportunities it has provided for offenders over the years.
Cutting reoffending and its vast cost to society is a priority for this government. Training within prison leads to employment on release, which we know has such a positive impact on ex-offenders, their families and communities, and ultimately reduces crime.
The Clink’s training scheme is proven to significantly cut rates of reoffending, with offenders 32% less likely to go on to commit further crimes compared to those who did not receive training. This success means for every £1 invested, The Clink Charity is likely to generate at least £4.80 back to the prison service, government and society in reduced reoffending rates.
The expansion to more prisons marks a new era for the partnership with HMPPS, which over a decade has helped more than 2,500 ex-offenders find employment.
The training sees serving prisoners work in professionally run kitchens for up to 35 hours a week, preparing and cooking up to 80,000 daily meals for fellow prisoners. Trainees will work towards gaining City and Guilds National Vocational Qualifications Levels 1, 2 and 3, while improving their confidence, teamworking and communication skills.
The scheme will be funded entirely by The Clink through generous donations from many organisations and supporters.
Finlay T K Scott, Chairman of The Clink Charity said:
Reducing crime and improving all of our lives is at the heart of what The Clink does. This latest initiative in partnership with HMPPS underlines the tremendous impact The Clink program has had over the last ten years.
We will build upon the success of our innovative integrated program and roll it out across the prison estate. This platform will dramatically increase the number of students we are able to rehabilitate with the subsequent impact upon reoffending figures.
The partnership with The Clink Charity is one of many government schemes aimed at supporting offenders into employment with the ultimate aim of cutting crime. Other initiatives include work placements for dozens of offenders as the construction of HMP Five Wells gets underway, as well as the new prison at Glen Parva.
Notes to editors
- Justice Data Lab figures show the rate of reoffending for prisoners who participated in the scheme was 15%, compared to 22% for those who did not. This is a difference of 32%.
- Over the next 3 years New Futures Network, the specialist part of HMPPS which works to create employment opportunities for serving prisoners and prison leavers, will help The Clink deliver their sector-led training program. The Clink Charity is unique as it not only delivers training inside the prison but carries on with full support and mentoring post-release to help them reintegrate back into society, gain full-time employment and ultimately reduce reoffending.
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