This report provides a detailed summary of prisoners’ employment status and training and education levels prior to coming into custody, based on the results of Wave 1 of a longitudinal cohort study (SPCR). The study shows that SPCR prisoners experience unemployment, low pay, and low occupational status before custody, and demonstrates differences between men and women prisoners, young adult and older adult prisoners, and prisoners of different ethnic backgrounds. About one-third of prisoners reported needing a lot of help to find a job on release. Prisoners appeared motivated to improve their education and skills. Prison interventions may be able to exploit these circumstances to ensure that the net effect of imprisonment on employment is positive. Reduced reoffending on release was associated with higher education and employment status before custody.