The Clink Charity and New Futures Network have announced a new inmate hospitality training scheme that will be adopted across more UK prisons.
The Clink Kitchens, the latest programme developed by the charity, will deliver training in up to 70 prisons over the next three years, enabling up to 2,000 men and women to achieve qualifications in hospitality and gain employment on release. The number of students on the programme will increase from 220 to 800 a day.
The Clink trains prisoners in hospitality skills, covering both front and back of house as well as horticulture.
The new programme will be headed by director of training Gregg Brown, working alongside operations director Jane Sanderson.
Research conducted by the Justice Data Lab and the Ministry of Justice in July 2019 found that prisoners participating in the programme were 32% less likely to reoffend.
Prisons minister Lucy Frazer said: "This expansion of the catering programme is testament to the thousands of training and job opportunities it has provided for offenders over the years. Cutting reoffending and its vast cost to society is a priority for this government. Training within prison leads to employment on release, which we know has such a positive impact on ex-offenders, their families and communities, and ultimately reduces crime."
Finlay TK Scott, chairman of the Clink Charity, said: "This latest initiative in partnership with HMPPS underlines the tremendous impact the Clink programme has had over the last 10 years. We will build upon the success of our innovative integrated programme and roll it out across the prison estate. This platform will dramatically increase the number of students we are able to rehabilitate with the subsequent impact upon reoffending figures."
Christopher Moore, Clink Charity chief executive, added: "The Clink in partnership with HMPPS changes attitudes, transforms lives and creates second chances by training serving prisoners during their sentence and then helping them reintegrate back into society, employment and accommodation upon release. The roll out of the Clink Kitchens project over the next three years will enable us to continue to repair society and make a difference."
The Clink Kitchens project is fully funded by the charity through grant maintaining trusts and philanthropists including Julia and Hans Rausing, Porticus and Sandy and Sue Arbuthnot.