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Unlocked Graduates CEO Natasha Porter writes for the Times about the benefits of increasing employment chances for former prisoners.

The Times: It makes sense to reduce the reoffending rate

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.

Yet our research also shows that if we doubled the number of former prisoners going into work or training on release, we could conservatively save more than a £1bn every year. Because the stability of a job usually comes hand-in-hand with other key factors that also reduce the risk of offending — like housing and support for mental health issues — the real saving would likely be far higher.