4th May, 2012 - Posted by admin - Comments Off
The justice secretary has encouraged businesses across the UK to give prisoners a chance to prove their worth in an office space.
Ken Clarke pointed out that the current British justice system is flawed in that many prisons are simply acting as “warehouses”.
This is because people are being sent down for a crime and given little guidance on how they can improve their lives. This then leads them to going back into the world after their sentence and repeating their crimes again.
However, Mr Clarke acknowledged: “Many prisoners do not want to be part of that cycle.”
Therefore, the justice secretary is calling on employers in all corners of the UK to give prisoners an opportunity to show their work skills while they are behind bars.
“Introducing work experience and training to people who are serving their time and being punished in prison is altogether a more intelligent way of running the prison service,” he pointed out.
Mr Clarke will take to Downing Street later in May to highlight that, if given the right direction and opportunities, prisoners can become highly motivated and aim to progress up their career ladder.
He went on to state: “I want eventually to see businesses manufacturing, providing services, from prisons on a commercial basis.
“There’s no reason why they shouldn’t help pay for themselves and the cost of the prison.”
Locksmiths and shoe repairer Timpson are setting the standard when it comes to helping prisoners back into work.
The company has recently become the first major organisation in the UK to establish open workshops dedicated to serving prisoners.
Such a unique initiative has had a positive effect, with management at Timpson stating that only seven of more than 200 prisoners which it has employed have gone on to re-offend.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Virgin and Marks & Spencer are now “expressing a strong interest” to introduce a similar platform.