In response to the Twinning Project announcement, Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas, said:
“We warmly welcome the Twinning Project, which aims to harness the power of sport as an engagement tool alongside training and employment opportunities for people in prison. We have seen first-hand the positive effects of this approach, with anti-social and offending behaviour with the local community being reduced by 40% as a result of one of our previous sports projects.
“As reoffending rates remain stubbornly high, there is a desperate need for an improved approach to prevent the cycle of offending. Many people within our prisons have tragic and chaotic backgrounds that led them there in the first place; they are supposed to receive punishment for their crimes but also to be equipped to build a better life when they are released.
“At Nacro, we work across the country with vulnerable young people and adults – often with complex needs – supporting them to build positive and independent futures. Time and time again, Nacro staff have seen people living in our supported housing or studying in our education and skills centres turn their lives around and escape a downward spiral after being given a chance to do better. We know that the 11 million people in the UK that have a criminal record find it eight times harder to get a job. This is a major barrier that prevents them from moving on. A focus on education and skills is vital in order to improve people’s life chances and to reduce the risk of reoffending within our communities.”