Today the Ministry of Justice announced its new strategy to help prisoners gain valuable skills and find meaningful employment. Peter Jones, Catch22’s Director of Social Justice and Rehabilitation, attended the launch of the strategy at HMP Isis.
“At Catch22, we believe prison is an opportunity to turn lives around. But rehabilitation isn’t just about helping someone see the error of their ways, it means providing them with viable, achievable options for meaningful employment after their sentence. We welcome a strategy that understands that helping prisoners find a purpose away from crime is central to rehabilitation.
“Prisoners are no different to people on the outside, and some of them will need to develop their skills before they’re ready for work. Commitments to extending the use of Release on Temporary Licence (RoTL) and the introduction of the prison apprenticeship pathway are vital and welcomed. These initiatives will do more than just build functional skills: they will build confidence, work networks and the right mind-set for success. Employers are beginning to recognise the value of hiring someone with convictions, and this strategy will support more companies to seize this opportunity to unlock the capacity of this workforce.
“It goes without saying that to make these measures a reality, everyone who works within the justice system needs to work together. It’s excellent to see the New Futures Network within the strategy to help us facilitate this collaboration. If we can harness this collective potential – breaking down the barriers between voluntary, public and private sectors, and listening to those on the frontline – we create the right culture and a justice system that truly rehabilitates prisoners and creates real job opportunities upon release.”