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BBC News: Scheme brings graduates to front-line prison roles

The number of front-line prison officers in England and Wales is up from 18,090 in 2016 to 18,755 this year, Ministry of Justice figures show. In future, trainees from a new scheme will help boost the numbers of graduates in the profession.

On E Wing at Coldingley prison, in Surrey, a group is being shown how to carry out one of the most basic tasks for a prison officer – though it is also one of the most important.

Read more BBC News: Scheme brings graduates to front-line prison roles

Radio 5 Live: Interview

Two Unlocked Graduates joined a discussion on BBC 5 Live and made a strong case for why anyone should consider becoming a prison officer. They argued it is critical for people with optimism and a real belief in rehabilitation think about working in prisons and Unlocked CEO Natasha Porter explained what the programme is hoping to achieve.

BBC Newsbeat: Five reasons why I became a prison officer

Physical violence, bad views and uncomfortable uniforms – why be a prison officer?

A £27,000 a year starting salary, in some parts of the country, might help.
The scheme, run by charity Unlocked and paid for by the government, has recruited the best 50 graduates from more than 2000 people who registered, and they plan to expand next year.

Read more BBC Newsbeat: Five reasons why I became a prison officer

The Economist: When TED talks came to a British prison

Small prison reforms are encouraging but also highlight the lack of big change in the sector.

SOARING performances of songs from “Cats” and “Les Misérables” are unusual fare for a prison. But on May 3rd an inmate at Leicester prison brought an audience to their feet with his renditions. The recital was part of a TEDx conference, a popular lecture series that had never before been held in a British jail. In the midst of a prisons crisis, with violence against inmates and officers at record levels and crippling staff shortages, the event is an encouraging example of smaller efforts to improve conditions.

Read more The Economist: When TED talks came to a British prison

The Times: High-flyers can give new purpose to prisons

Recruiting top graduates to work in jails will improve a maligned service and lift inmates’ chances of rehabilitation.

In the 1970s BBC sitcom Porridge, Fletch, the prisoner played by Ronnie Barker, describes a friend who got into debt and had too many fights. “His brain went soft, his reflexes went. [He] just became like a vegetable — an incoherent non-thinking zombie.” The punchline is perhaps predictable. “He joined the prison service as a warder. Doing very well.”

Read more The Times: High-flyers can give new purpose to prisons

BuzzFeed: Meet The Graduates Who Want To Solve Britain’s Prison Crisis

If you could pick a first job for someone leaving university this summer, “prison officer” would probably rank as one of the most challenging.

Inspectors’ reports have repeatedly said that officers in some prisons had all but lost control and that in some it’s easier for prisoners to get drugs than clean clothes. Officers have described the lawlessness and violence of prison life, caused in no small part by overcrowding and a surge in the use of synthetic drugs.

Read more BuzzFeed: Meet The Graduates Who Want To Solve Britain’s Prison Crisis

The Times: It makes financial sense to reduce the reoffending rate and makes us all safer

The cost of reoffending has been laid bare today. New analysis by the charity Unlocked Graduates has revealed that each former prisoner who reoffends costs a staggering £600,000 a year to the economy. It is ordinary taxpayers who foot most of this bill, so it is in everybody’s interest to address the damage done by reoffending.

Read more The Times: It makes financial sense to reduce the reoffending rate and makes us all safer

The Sun: A BANG UP JOB Britain’s biggest firms should hire an ex-prisoner to cut re-offending and save taxpayers £1bn a year, campaigners say

Of 56,000 prisoners released each year, only four in ten end up in jobs or training – which substantially reduces risk of committing another crime.

ALL of Britain’s biggest firms should hire an ex-offender to save at least £1billion a year, campaigners say.

Out of 56,000 prisoners released from jail every year – only four in ten – or 24,000 – end up in jobs or training.

Read more The Sun: A BANG UP JOB Britain’s biggest firms should hire an ex-prisoner to cut re-offending and save taxpayers £1bn a year, campaigners say