“Outstanding” head of rehabilitation wins national award

December 2019

Our head of rehabilitation has been praised as “outstanding”.

Barry Flanagan was named Outstanding Individual at the Criminal Justice Alliance’s annual awards for his work changing lives.

Barry is Head of Rehabilitation Programmes; responsible for the team supporting offenders to develop skills, confidence and resilience and move into stable housing and work on release. He has honed his skills during 16 years working in the criminal justice sector.

He said of his win: “I love the work I do and don’t expect awards for it, so I was genuinely shocked to win. But I’m also honoured. This is not just a win for me but the whole team I work with and all the men and women we support.”

Nominees for the awards included professionals and experts from the charity, public and academic sectors but in choosing him as their winner, the judges said Barry’s work “goes over and above supporting people to learn new skills, gain confidence and stay out of the criminal justice system”. The annual awards celebrate organisations, individuals and media who have made a marked contribution to a “fair and effective criminal justice system”.

Chief Executive Alasdair Jackson added: I am so excited and pleased that Barry has been recognised with such a prestigious award.

“His expertise and empathy come from both professional and personal experience of the criminal justice system – he is compassionate, patient and understanding and is a real role model to the men and women he supports.

“He has changed countless lives since he came to Recycling Lives and I can’t think of a more deserving person.”

The award win also included a cash prize from the Criminal Justice Alliance which we now plan to invest in further training and development for Barry’s team, with a particular focus to develop our mental health and wellbeing support for offenders.

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Graham Beck – Governor, HMP Wymott

“Recycling Lives has added an extra dimension to our rehabilitative programme by offering offenders quality work, incentives to progress and support on release, providing a number of opportunities.

“Its’ model is now being used as an ideal template for others aiming to bring opportunities into prisons.

“I am confident that Recycling Lives’ influence will bring about wider improvements in this difficult area of work.”

Karl Neimarlija, HSS Hire

"We’re always looking at different ways to attract and retain great people from all backgrounds. Recycling Lives inspired us.

"It's been overwhelmingly positive with those we’ve hired so far. Their managers are really impressed with the high performance levels, work ethic and commitment."

Rory Stewart MP – former Minister of State for Prisons (2018-19)

“Initiatives like [Recycling Lives’] create a platform for offenders to go on to make a meaningful contribution to society.

“The support extends beyond the prison walls to help offenders through the gate, [working] with men and women on their plans for release, supporting them to secure meaningful work and stable housing on release.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who helps prisoners find work.”