The Clink Charity officially opened the doors of the Clink Cymru at HMP Cardiff last week.
Newly appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Jeremy Wright made one of his first public appearances at the launch.
The Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation was joined by Michelin-starred chef Stephen Terry, who has been appointed chef ambassador of the Clink Cymru.
Speaking at the launch Wright said: "We are determined to cut reoffending rates by giving offenders the skills and the work ethic they need to find employment on release from custody. I'm genuinely impressed by what I've seen here today. The Clink is an excellent example of how we are encouraging meaningful work and training in prisons so offenders are given what they need to address the issues that brought them to custody and are equipped to make positive changes."
Clink charity chief executive Chris Moore added that the charity was a positive influence on the rehabilitation of prisoners. "Through the use of the Clink model we are contributing to reducing reoffending in the UK by training 35 prisoners in the restaurant and a further 15 in the farms and gardens department," he added. "Each year we hope to release 50 well trained and highly qualified graduates into employment within the hospitality and farming industry."
Clink director of operations and founder trustee Alberto Crisci MBE said the restaurant would give prisoners the opportunity to break the cycle of reoffending once released. "By training them to an exceptional standard and equipping them with the skills to build a career for themselves, once their time has been served, they have a chance to transform their life. There is much more at stake than just getting a job though; for the prisoners it's about reclaiming their lives."
By James Stagg
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