Recycling Lives' "outstanding" rehabilitation win

Recycling Lives’ head of rehabilitation has been praised as “outstanding”.

Barry Flanagan was named Outstanding Individual at the Criminal Justice Alliance’s 2019 awards for his work changing lives.

Barry is Head of Rehabilitation Programmes for Recycling Lives Social Enterprise; responsible for the team delivering unrivalled results, reducing reoffending rates to less than 5% and increasing employment rates to 84%.

Its HMP Academies programme is operational in 11 prisons, creating employment and opportunities for around 300 men and women in recycling or fabrication workshops.

Barry heads up the team supporting offenders both in prison and on release, helping each to develop skills, confidence and resilience and move into stable housing and work on release. He has honed his skills during 16 years working in the criminal justice sector.

He said of his win: “I love the work I do and don’t expect awards for it so I was genuinely shocked to win. But I’m also honoured.
“This is not just a win for me but the whole team I work with and all the men and women we support.”

Alasdair Jackson, Chief Executive of Recycling Lives Charity, said of the win: “I am so excited and pleased that Barry has been recognised with such a prestigious award.
“His expertise and empathy come from both professional and personal experience of the criminal justice system – he is compassionate, patient and understanding and is a real role model to the men and women he supports.
“He has changed countless lives since he came to Recycling Lives and I can’t think of a more deserving person.”

Nominees for the awards included professionals and experts from the charity, public and academic sectors but in choosing him as their winner, the judges said Barry’s work “goes over and above supporting people to learn new skills, gain confidence and stay out of the criminal justice system”. The annual awards celebrate organisations, individuals and media who have made a marked contribution to a “fair and effective criminal justice system”.

The award win means Recycling Lives has been handed a cash prize by the Criminal Justice Alliance. The Social Enterprise is now investing this in further training and development for Barry’s team with a particular focus to develop its offer of professional and comprehensive mental health and wellbeing support for offenders.