A recent review conducted by Sheffield Hallam University of a vocational training project in a South Yorkshire prison designed to help offenders gain regular work and reduce re-offending, has highlighted the need for better integration of vocational training with other resettlement services such as accommodation and addiction support.
Del Roy Fletcher, from Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Regional Economic Social Research, tracked eight male prisoners that had participated in the Construction Training in Prisons project at HMP Lindholme, funded by Yorkshire Forward and the Home Office. He found that a lack of integration with other prison-based resettlement services had led some to experience difficulties securing appropriate accommodation which has made finding regular work much more difficult.
Project director Del provided advice on the most suitable ways the Category C Doncaster prison could develop the project to maximise its potential in terms of increasing post-release employment outcomes and reducing re-offending. He said: "There is no quick fix to the problem of re-offending. Training does improve job prospects, but this isn't enough on its own to guarantee resettlement and integration back into society. Stable and sustainable work, accommodation and family support are the three key elements to successful resettlement."
According to statistics, 90% of prisoners face unemployment on release, and 60% of those re-convicted are unemployed. The facility is expected to turn these figures around. Positive examples include enabling former prisoner, John, to obtain work at a Sheffield Construction Company. His portfolio and evidence of training, along with his attitude and positive approach impressed his employers so much that he is working out of the open prison site. When he eventually returns to his hometown, John is facing a positive and productive future with a full time job, earning a regular wage and working towards a qualification.
Construction Training in Prisons at Lindholme was given a boost in 2004 following the conversion of a disused hangar sponsored by Yorkshire Forward. It teaches the disciplines of bricklaying, painting and decorating, plastering, plumbing and joinery. The vocational courses, which train prisoners to CITB and City and Guilds level, are however generating a number of additional benefits including providing purposeful activity for offenders and helping to maintain order.
Del explained: "the masculine nature of construction is appealing to prisoners; they enjoy working in the workshops and can see the benefits of using the skills in their own lives."
Del also interviewed employers in the construction industry and found that many are 'relatively enlightened and receptive to the idea of employing ex-offenders to address labour shortages'. There are, however, real concerns about criminal convictions which 'in their eyes compromise qualities like honesty and reliability'.
"We found that many employers are increasingly willing to consider non-traditional forms of labour which they would not have done ten or 15 years ago. They are attracted to the project for two key reasons. First they see it as a way addressing the corporate social responsibility agenda. Second, the project can potentially allow them to recruit from a wider pool of labour to address the sector skill shortage."
As a result of Del’s report the prison has been able to implement a number of changes to help with the resettlement of offenders. This includes additional support from Shelter to help with finding accommodation on release, and increased resources and changes to the induction process for prisoners to give more information, advice and guidance. This will highlight the issues that need to be addressed by each prisoner including learning and skills aspects linked to future career paths and successful resettlement into the community.
They have also employed a job developer. The success of this development has lead to it being trialed by other prisons and by the National Employer Panel. The job developer finds employers willing to take on ex offenders and assists both the offender and the employer through the transition to meaningful long term employment and training.
Donna Goodwin | alfa
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences