The country’s head of justice has commended our “innovative approach to rehabilitation”, highlighting it as an example of the Government’s own ambitions.
Rory Stewart, the Minister of State for Justice, is leading a Government strategy to support more offenders into education and employment in a bid to reduce reoffending rates.
He has written to chief executive Alasdair Jackson thanking him for our offender rehabilitation programme’s “impressive outcomes” – referring to our reoffending rates of less than 5%.
Mr Stewart said in his letter: “The HMP Academies programme is a great example of what the Government is trying to achieve, as outlined in the Education and Employment Strategy.
“I was pleased to learn that the support of Recycling Lives extends beyond the prison walls to help offenders through the gate. You work with men and women on their plans for release, supporting them to secure meaningful work and stable housing on release. This makes a huge difference to a person’s chance of rehabilitating.
“I look forward to seeing the outstanding work of your organisation go from strength to strength.”
The programme has grown rapidly in recent years, now operating across 11 prisons. Each workshop engages offenders in recycling and waste management work, using work as a means to support their personal and professional development, ready to secure work and housing on release.
Mr Jackson said: “At Recycling Lives we pride ourselves in giving people opportunities to turn their lives around and the success that those people have. It is humbling to be recognised by the Minister and we too look forward to growing our programmes so we can reach even more people.”