Transforming Rehabilitation

Grayling’s prison plan to ensure inmates are released close to home 

A national network of 70 “resettlement prisons” is to be established to ensure that inmates are released from jail close to the area in which they will live, the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has announced.

The move is part of Grayling’s “transforming rehabilitation” plan. It will entail re-designating some adult male prisons as resettlement jails, where offenders will be held for the last three months of their sentence. And prisoners will be banned from living in other parts of the country once free. (Guardian, 4th July 2013)

AT copyResponse from Andrew Thorp, Chief Executive of Street Soccer Academy:

“It has been muted previously when discussing prison reform that rehousing inmates in areas away from family and friends would deter reoffending behavior due to them being away from the negative influences and peer groups that contributed towards them committing crimes in the first place.

Personally, I am delighted that Chris Grayling has concluded that there is great strength in offering localised support to released inmates via robust through the gate support. We have seen fantastic results when assisting prison Bank inmates back into communities in the Greater Manchester and Lancashire areas. We receive a released inmate every three days on average into our external support infrastructure and have a sub 10% reoffending rate.

Two risk factors that exist when an offender is released are in relation to time and influence. An ex-offender who is bored is a single decision away from returning to prison. An ex-offender who spends time with negative peer groups has constant temptation to return to ‘old ways’. Providing a sense of community, a schedule of activity and new positive peers goes some way to reduce the likelihood of relapse in the thinking and behavior of ex-offenders.
Players from Street Soccer Academy Wigan and Leigh share a huddle before a matchRehabilitation work in the community starts behind prison walls. The more inmates can be reintegrated into families and communities through the involvement of significant others in their lives as part of the process the more likely ex-offenders are to succeed when released.

Such methods of intervention as described can only be developed when the inmates are based near to the areas within which they will be rehoused.”

For the full article from the Guardian click the following link:

Author Andrew Thorp

Andrew founded the Street Soccer Academy concept in 2005 and under his leadership the work has developed into an award winning registered charity and innovative enterprise. Educated at Loughborough University, Andrew has a BSc Hons in Management Sciences and has experience as a tutor and assessor at Salford City College, responsible for the delivery of an NVQ 2 qualification in Teaching, Instructing and Training. He is also a UEFA 'B' qualified coach and has vast experience working in the professional and semi-professional football world at Rochdale AFC, Leigh RMI and Trafford FC. It is through his experience in these fields that the accredited education programmes have been formulated in order to significantly enhance the opportunities of Street Soccer Academy beneficiaries.

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