The Prison Leavers Project is a £20 million initiative to break the criminal cycle of prison leavers. The project is collaborating across sectors to examine new methods of minimizing reoffending among people who have served their time in prison. As part of this process, evidence will be gathered. In the future, the most effective treatments will ramp up gradually over time.
What pilot schemes have been launched?
As part of this program, 11 trial programs have been implemented nationwide. Seven of these projects have been approved for funding in June 2021. The organizations involved are BounceBack, Catch 22, and Grown Change Live in Cheshire and the Midlands. The Innovation Unit, NEPACS, and New Futures NetworkAntz Junction.
Four more have received funding, and their pilots are scheduled to begin in May 2022. Among them are the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, Llamau, the Nelson Trust, and the St Giles Trust. Each pilot program addresses a different aspect of the problem on a local level.
The Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office will use the funds to train staff. assisting local jail leavers to reduce homelessness and increase employment. To minimize homelessness and strengthen family ties and community inclusion, Llamu will focus on young males in Wales.
The St Giles Trust will provide housing and mental health services to prisoners with special needs in Yorkshire. Generally, they target inmates released from jail on a Friday when most services are closed.
Nelson Trust plans to establish a women’s center in HMP Eastwood Park. The center will provide holistic, gender-responsive, and trauma-informed care to women. Those with a history of trauma and abuse will be assisted in reintegrating into society. The center will also provide housing assistance, treatment for drug abuse, and facilitate communication between mothers and their children. The pilots will evaluate the program during and after the offender’s release for twelve months. Then, to minimize reoffending, successful programs will be rolled out on a larger scale.
What else is involved in the project?
The Prison Leavers Project establishes cross-sector teams known as Service Communities in addition to these 11 trial programs. These events bring together public members and charities to help inmates who have been released from jail. We will also pay particular attention to the health and wellness of the jail leavers on the day they are released from prison, their community connections, and their employability and abilities.
In addition, the organization is launching a competition for prisoners leaving prison called the Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge. To tackle the problem of reoffending, start-ups and SMEs have been urged to develop and test innovative digital or technology solutions.
What is the purpose of the Prison Leavers Project?
The cost of reoffending to the economy is £18 billion per year. At least 80% of offenders had previously been convicted or warned. As a result of addressing reoffending, the government hopes to reduce crime and costs by reducing reoffending. Those released from jail without a permanent residence or a job are the most vulnerable to reoffending. Inmates who are homeless are 50% more likely to re-offend than those who find work within a year of their release.