Recycling Lives has released its latest film - a candid production following the fortunes of people recently released from prison.
The film features team members Ian and Tina, who share their stories of life before and after prison, having been supported by Recycling Lives’ HMP Academies, Release Potential and Residential programmes.
Nationally, the vast majority of offenders reoffend within one year of release - due to limited opportunities for decent housing, stable work and personal support both before and after release.
Recycling Lives - which uses its recycling and waste management business to sustain its own charity programmes - is bucking these trends. Its programmes are reducing reoffending through training, work and housing opportunities, making it the most effective offender rehabilitation programme of its kind in the UK.
Ian and Tina are just two of the hundreds of men and women it supports each year.
Ian’s story shows a young man’s promising career in the Army lost to drug addiction.
Tina’s story shows a struggling mother taking risks to support her family.
Both worked in one of Recycling Lives 10 prison-based workshops where men and women work on waste management contracts to develop skills, confidence and resilience - while in prison. On release they were supported into skilled jobs with the recycling business.
Recycling Lives founder Steve Jackson OBE DL said: “This powerful film shows the massive difference a person can make to their life - changing for the better - when they are given support, stability and hope.
“At Recycling Lives we offer training, employment and accommodation opportunities, as well as intensive personal support, to help men and women like Ian and Tina. We aren’t seeking pity or forgiveness for the lives led before prison. We are simply showing the positive impact for individuals, families and communities in helping people on release.
“Nationally, up to 67% of offenders reoffend on release - often because of the unstable lives they are released to, without work, decent housing or support. At Recycling Lives, just 3% of offenders reoffend, making ours the most effective offender rehabilitation programme of its kind in the country.
“It simply makes sense to help people in this way.”
Recycling Lives work is proving to be successful not only for individuals and its business, which last year grew by 47%, but for society too. By reducing reoffending rates, preventing interventions from the criminal justice system, its programmes create savings for the taxpayer worth millions each year.