Based on Ministry of Justice statistics published at the end of July this year, 25% of offenders released from custody went on to re-offend in a one year period. Similarly the juvenile reoffending rate for that year increased by 4.2% with 37%* of young people reoffending, something that Prospects wants to see reduce dramatically.
Victoria Blakeman, Director of Offender Management at Prospects said: “Reoffending figures in the UK have been too high for too long and this is why Prospects are working hard to provide education and careers information in the community and in custody to equip offenders with the qualifications and skills they need to break the cycle of reoffending when they leave detention.”
Prospects works across the country with those on the edge of the Criminal Justice System supporting offenders in custody as well as ex-offenders pursuing a future without crime. Prospects provides the education service within Feltham Young Offenders Institution as well as providing its National Careers Service in 40 other prisons across London, the South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.
National Careers Service advisers help offenders in the resettlement phase of their sentence to assess their skills, identify learning needs and set career goals to enable them to plan for their future and improve their job prospects on release.
Harrow resident, Sirajdin, 24, was referred to the National Careers Service by his probation officer having recently been released from prison following a lengthy sentence and finding himself unemployed with no support or direction.
“I wanted to update my qualifications so I would have a better chance of securing employment in the future, especially as I wanted to enter the construction industry,” explains Sirajdin. “Before I had contact with the National Careers Service I lacked direction, I knew that I needed to apply myself to something and I had some ideas about the lines of work I wanted to pursue, but I had no focus.”
“My adviser helped me create an action plan, and we looked through construction job profiles and discussed the labour market so I would have a greater understanding of the industry I wanted to enter. We then enrolled me on a college course to study plumbing which is due to start in September.”
“The best thing about working with my adviser from the National Careers Service is the drive and focus it has cultivated in me,” explains Sirajdin, “I have a new found confidence and it makes me feel really good knowing things are turning around for me. My future is bright now.”
*Statistics taken from Proven Reoffending Statistics Quarterly Bulletin: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/633194/proven-reoffending-2015-q3.pdf