Prison restaurant reduces reoffending rates

Prison restaurant reduces reoffending rates, according to new research
02/08/2019 - 05:00
The Clink restaurants at Cardiff, High Down in Surrey, Brixton and Styal in Cheshire prisons are making a ‘significant’ difference in decreasing reoffending rates, according to new research.

The research, from the Justice Data Lab and the Ministry of Justice, compared the behaviour of released inmates from the four prisons with a Clink restaurant and other prisoners from around the UK without one.

Reoffending is a problem in the UK as it costs the UK taxpayers £18Bn every year. Across the four sites where the project was implemented the average reoffending rates were 15% in comparison to 22% in other prisons (between 2009 and 2016). 

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the report shows that the Clink's opportunity to work in a professional restaurant reduces the chance of re-offending. The reoffending rate at Brixton prison was only 11% but it was 32% for similar inmates who were not involved with the project.

The restaurant offers prisoners the chance to learn new skills of how to prepare food. The aim of this scheme is to encourage prisoners to gain employment in the hospitality industry when they leave to reduce the chance of them reoffending. The Clink restaurants are open to the public and use plastic cutlery.

John Beck, a City and Guilds manager said: "Educating prisoners is not a reward for committing a crime - it's about preventing further crime from being committed."

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