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The BBC covers the launch of the Unlocked Graduates programme.

BBC News: Graduates fast-tracked into prison service

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

David Laws, Chair of Unlocked Graduates, writes for the Guardian on the benefits of the new programme for the prison system.

The Guardian: Unlocked could bring change to our prisons

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: Unlocked could bring change to our prisons

New scheme unveiled to attract top graduates to become prison officers

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