Aa Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced an overhaul of the British prison system, a Northwest organisation is providing a complete rehabilitation solution.
In his first major speech since returning to government, Mr Clarke described today’s prison population as “astonishing” and that the current system is simply “warehousing” criminals at great expense and is doing nothing to prevent re-offending.
During his speech at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies in King’s College London, the Justice Secretary also warned that deep cuts in public spending must fuel a new approach to crime and punishment, by putting more emphasis on rehabilitating offenders than on locking them up.
Commercial recycler and social welfare charity Recycling Lives provides a single and unique solution to transform ex-offenders into hardworking, contributing individuals, with a strong work ethic and desire for community involvement; through a personalised educational, training and work experience programme.
Recycling Lives has demonstrated that its business model works; 100 per cent of the individuals facing an uncertain future, who have completed the Recycling Lives programme, have successfully achieved full time employment and independent living.
The Northwest Consortium for the National Offenders Management System (NOMS) CFO Achieve Project was so impressed with the consistent results of Recycling Lives, they have awarded the business an exclusive contract to deliver its Lancashire cohort.
The Lancashire cohort will see 50 ex-offenders re-trained, prepared and assisted into full time employment over the next two years, with another 250 ex-offenders prepared for work elsewhere.
Mr Clarke is under pressure to make savings from the £2.2 billion-a-year prisons budget and curb the costs of West Europe’s biggest jail building programme intended to increase prison places to 96,000.
He argues that Britain cannot afford to build more prisons and that we should use the economic crisis to reform the judicial system, with charities and private sector organisations, like Recycling Lives, stepping in to help stop re-offending.
Recycling Lives Founder and Chairman Steven Jackson said: “Recycling Lives is a business model with proven results that can address key government objectives.
“Recycling Lives seeks to assist those facing an uncertain future, like ex-armed forces personnel, the formerly homeless, the workless, socially excluded, welfare dependent or educational disadvantaged.
“We also help ex-offenders, presenting a low risk to society, by providing the training, education and work experience needed for an individual to be successful in the working world and be able to break the constant cycle of welfare dependency, worklessness and circumstances that often trigger re-offending.”
Recycling Lives is currently working on deploying a national and international development programme that hopes to see 50 Recycling Lives Centres built across the UK in the next five years.