Prisoners who participate in the Clink Charity's hospitality training scheme are 41% less likely to re-offend, according to a report by the Justice Data Lab (JDL) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
The study looked at male ex-offenders who have trained for between six and 18 months at the Clink Restaurants at HMP High Down in Surrey, HMP Brixton in London and HMP Cardiff in Wales.
Clink graduates were compared to similar ex-offenders who have not participated in the Clink's intervention programmes.
It found that on average 17% of the Clink programme participants reoffended within a year compared to 29% of offenders who didn't participate in the programme. This represented a 41% reduction in the likelihood of re-offending for those participating in the programme, which the report described as "statistically significant" results. The data also showed a reduction in the number of proven re-offences by 40.9%.
Chris Moore, chief executive of the Clink Charity, said: "The results of the Justice Data Lab report provide statistical verification that the determined work of the Clink Charity is the right course to be followed if we are to continue to reduce reoffending rates in the UK.
"Although the figures show that we have made a considerable impact on reducing recidivism, as well as the number of offences committed by those who did go on to reoffend, we are confident that the 2017 JDL review of the Clink Charity will show further reductions as we continue to expand the Clink concept across the prison estate, in partnership with Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS)."
He added: "Lack of education and employment prior to conviction, are key factors in those who commit crimes. The JDL report estimates that of the Clink graduates assessed, ‘68% were unemployed' and ‘32% had significant problems with problem solving' which is why the Clink Charity has been built on an educational foundation that is assessed by OFSTED and adheres to the City & Guilds syllabuses. We have a team of support workers that mentor our trainees, prior to and following release, to help in securing accommodation and employment as part of their rehabilitation. With these systems in place, we expect to see our success grow further over the next 12 months."
With a total of six training initiatives in operation, the charity is on track to achieve its target of having 20 prisoner training projects in operation by the end of 2020. This will see more than 1,000 qualified Clink graduates released into employment each year.
The Clink provides vocational training in catering, front of house, cleaning and horticulture.
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