The latest Justice Data Lab statistics show that offenders who took part in the pioneering Clink restaurant programme, which provides training in catering, customer service and cleaning for prisoners, were less likely to reoffend than a group of similar offenders.
The Clink provides training courses at HMP Cardiff, HMP Brixton and HMP High Down, giving prisoners the skills and opportunities they need in preparation for release and helping to make our streets safer by reducing reoffending and cutting crime.
Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said:
“We want prisons to be places of hard work and high ambition, with incentives for prisoners to learn and I am delighted that the Clink restaurant gives prisoners the skills and qualifications needed to secure employment on release.
“The Justice Secretary announced a major overhaul of the prison system last week. Our measures will create prisons that are places of safety and reform, giving prisoners the education and skills they need to turn their back on crime for good.”
Current reoffending rates are too high - almost half of former prisoners will commit another crime within a year of release - but by providing prisoners with qualifications and training, they can secure employment on release, helping to stop the cycle of reoffending.
Prisons have a critical role to play in making society safer, by cutting reoffending rates and by intervening earlier to turn lives around. Schemes like this can help offenders to quit crime for good.
But prisons must firstly be places of safety and as the Justice Secretary announced in last week’s Prison reform White Paper, levels of violence in our prisons are totally unacceptable and we must turn the tide to improve safety by making prisons places of safety, decency and reform.