Today we were excited to join an audience of guests from across the UK at the Sustainable Investments: Prisons & Communities Conference at the BT Centre. The event which was hosted by Business in the Community (BitC) in partnership with BT brought together advocates from the education, employment, enterprise, and well-being sectors.
Led by Business Connectors’ Maria Desmond and Vikki Bendle, the conference was held to share knowledge, ideas, and best practice to make a sustainable and lasting difference in the way we support ex-offenders, families, and communities.
One of the main issues covered was to change cultures in prisons. It was clear there was a shared consensus that we need to provide timely intervention, innovative learning, and open employment or entrepreneurship opportunities in advance of release, and this needs to be done in a way that works to their strengths and supports a plan to prevent re-offending. If we can do this, the benefit doesn’t just stop with ex-offenders and their families but will positively impact the local economy.
Additionally, the conference looked at the cycle of reoffending. It was agreed that if we intervene in prisons from an early stage by as educating and successfully preparing inmates for work on release whilst also maintaining family links whilst the inmates are incarcerated, this could help to break that cycle.
The RFF team were pleased to be involved and all felt that it was a really interesting and informative day – massive thanks to the Business Connections, BitC and BT for having us.
For more information on BitC visit http://www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/business-connectors