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
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 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
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
The government is backing a new scheme to get graduates working in the prison service, only days after disturbances at HMP Birmingham.
Graduates will work alongside frontline staff after an intensive training course in the summer and complete a master’s degree at the same time.
Trainees will earn £20,545 – a prison officer’s starting salary – during the two-year scheme in England and Wales.
Read more BBC News: Graduates fast-tracked into prison service
Our jails are at capacity and reoffending rates sky high. But a new graduate recruitment scheme that puts rehabilitation at its core offers real hope.
As the disturbances in Birmingham showed, our prison system is in urgent need of improvement. The justice secretary is surely right to emphasise the need both to restore stability and deliver reform. The recruitment of 2,500 extra prison officers will help make prisons the secure places expected by the public – and deliver the stability we need if reform is to become a reality.
Read more The Guardian: Bravo, Liz Truss. Unlocked could bring much needed change to our prisons.
The Secretary of State for Justice backs Unlocked’s mission to raise the status of prison officers and to bring down reoffending rates.
Prison officers are the unsung heroes of the public sector and society should value the incredibly challenging and complex nature of their job, according to Unlocked, an independent charity which is launching a new scheme to encourage high-flying graduates to join the prison service.
Read more New scheme unveiled to attract top graduates to become prison officers