Crime cutting prison scheme expanded

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Expansion of Clink Kitchens Scheme to help thousands of offenders find jobs and turn their backs on crime.

Thousands of offenders will be steered away from a life of crime thanks to the roll-out of The Clink training kitchen scheme to 25 jails by the end of the year, Prisons Minister Alex Chalk has announced.

Already running at eight prisons including HMPs Bristol, Downview, and Styal, the programme sees prisoners train in professionally-run prison kitchens for up to 35 hours a week – preparing and cooking thousands of meals daily – while simultaneously working towards professional qualifications which will help them find employment on the outside.

The Clink has already helped over 2,500 offenders into stable and secure jobs since launching just over a decade ago through their training initiatives, with the expansion announced today expected to support a further 2,000 prisoners into employment.

In 2019 alone, The Clink trained up over 440 prisoners – a total of 330,000 training hours – with over 280 employers across the country taking on Clink graduates upon release from prison.

Research shows that ex-offenders in work are more likely to turn their backs on crime for good, with prisoners who have taken part in The Clink’s training scheme almost a third less likely to go on to commit further offences – reducing the £18 billion a year cost of reoffending and keeping communities safe.

Prisons Minister, Alex Chalk, said, “Prisoners with a job on release are far less likely to reoffend – meaning if we can provide the path to employment, we can make our communities safer.

“As we continue to build back safer from the pandemic, it is absolutely vital that we continue to address the root causes of crime by supporting offenders to turn their lives around and this scheme will do precisely that for thousands of ex-prisoners,” he added on August 20.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.