Dear All: Fran Findlater (CEO BounceBack) facilitated our meeting most competently, overseeing a very good evening – with many meaty subjects discussed.
Thanks to our host Richard Paice CEO The Exceptionals, we sipped bubbly (which he provided) plus sandwiches at his beautiful apartment in historic Albany. Subjects we discussed included: trying to change criminal records lasting a lifetime when the crime was at 18 years of age; skewed media coverage of footballer Adam Johnson; why don’t employers look at sex offenders on a case by case basis (Val is emailing James Timpson to suggest he re-look at this) plus the lifer who wants IVF to start a family with his partner.
OUR AGENDA STARTS HERE
Dominic Headley exhorted Networkers to nominate employers for the two Awards to be presented at the House of Commons on June 12. By the way though I had the initial idea, it was Dominic who put flesh on the bones; delivery is always more important than the idea.
CORBETT NETWORK EMPLOYER AWARDS: application form. Closing date is May 16 which isn’t far away – do try not to do last-minute dash. Remember you can nominate as many employers as you wish: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfnvZli42eFWzeN25PlkrHrwWVwM-Kxsy-C6eTGE_qFNq_3Cg/viewform?usp=sf_link
Christopher Moore, CEO The Clink Charity told us they are now in their 10th year since launching the first Clink Restaurant in 2009 in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service at HMP High Down. During this time they’ve trained over 1,800 prisoners across 11 training projects with restaurants in Cardiff, Manchester, Brixton and Surrey. They also operate 2 horticulture programmes in Surrey where they grow the vegetables and salad used in the London restaurants as well as keeping chickens.
Chris said: “In April 2018 the Justice Data Lab conducted an independent audit of the outcomes achieved by The Clink and found that Clink graduates had achieved a 7% reoffending rate in Cardiff and 8% Brixton. The overall reoffending rate for all our sites was 10.7%. The research found that an identical prisoner going through The Clink is 49.6% less likely to reoffend.”
“In 2017 we started we started thinking about how we could stop people going to prison in the first place and we launched Clink Events, an event catering training project that makes food on the inside and serves it on the outside. In October 2018 we opened a new central production training kitchen at HMP Downview in Sutton where the women prisoners in training produce all the food for our events as well as gain their City and Guilds NVQ level 2 in Food preparation.”
“Clink Events are one of the 14 nominated caterers at the Guildhall. During 2018 we catered for over 80 events – from cocktail receptions for 900 to sit down awards dinners for 500. Clink Events not only trains prisoners inside but it also delivers training for our graduates and homeless clients from The Centrepoint charity. We are one of 4 organisations to launch the brand new City and Guilds Global Certification for the hospitality industry, designed by City & Guilds and Worldchefs. The Global Hospitality Certification sets an international skills benchmark for hospitality businesses. It makes the skills of people working in the sector VISIBLE, MEASURABLE and GLOBAL, through the use of digital certificates. It also shows typical job roles and career opportunities in the industry so people can see where they are and where they can progress to.”
“In May we also opened our first Clink training Café in the centre of Manchester in Canada House where we cater for the 400 occupants as well as the general public. We also train prisoners who are released on temporary license each day and clients from 3 local homeless charities. Both the café and Clink Events train homeless clients and also ex-offenders. We train them up and get them into fulltime employment and also ensure that they have accommodation. This way we can support them to help them get their lives back on track and stop them going down the wrong route which could potentially lead to a prison sentence.”
“The Prisons Reform Trust’s Bromley Briefing report (Autumn fact file 2018) states the number of children (under-18s) in custody has fallen by 71% in the last decade. They are also committing fewer crimes—with proven offences down by 74% from their peak in 2006. At the end of September 2018 there were 861 children in custody in England and Wales. 43 children were aged 14 or younger. 13,870 young adults (aged 18–24) are currently in prison in England and Wales—they account for 17% of the total prison population. There are now over a third (37%) fewer young adults (aged 18–24) in prison in England and Wales than in 2011.”
UPDATE ON CORBETT CENTRE FOR PRISONER RE-INTEGRATION
From Professor Belinda Winder, Head of the Safer Living Foundation:
“The launch of the Corbett Centre in Nottingham on 13th Feb went very well. We had over 150 people present to celebrate launch day – and that is of course just the beginning! Following the launch publicity, we did receive some queries from survivor organisations and we are trying to meet with people to answer questions and hopefully reduce fears and anxieties they may have.”
“We have been working with Notts police and probation services to set up the protocols by which service users can access the centre. Although our predominant group will be ex-prisoners with sexual convictions, other groups pf prisoners, such as lifers, or those serving long sentences, will also be welcomed at the CC, and all of these groups bring with them some complexities in terms of licence conditions and restrictions. However, prison, probation and approved premises are all keen to work with us to make the CC a success.”
“We have also had a number of other charities reach out to us who are keen to hear how the CC progresses, and some media interest (that we have put off for a few months while we give everything a chance to establish itself.)”
“We are currently putting together a programme of events (cooking, religious services, disclosure writing, meditation classes and religious services, amongst others) to be able to offer our service users, and we are waiting to get ethical approval for the evaluation which will underpin the CC’s work.”
“Meanwhile, we have lots of enthusiastic service users keen to access the CC on a more regular basis – and we have just received funding from The Worshipful Weavers that will enable us to employ the Centre Manager! This is brilliant news and we are working hard on raising funds to add to the staff there so we can open every day, all day. Corbett Networkers are invited to use the Centre FOC – please contact email@example.com”
“So – all going really well – onwards and upwards!”
Eva Hamilton (CEO Key4Life) talked about the YOUNITED Campaign which will be launched in Bristol on May 15. YOUNITED will be a kitemark displayed on the websites of every employer who has hired someone with criminal convictions. They will also be given a flag to encourage the business community and the community at large to play a part in reducing youth reoffending and preventing high rates of serious violent crime. By signing up to the UNITED Flag Charter, businesses will show they have taken practical steps to not only help to transform the lives of marginalised young people, but also play an invaluable role to help reduce reoffending through giving jobs.
The Corbett Network goes from strength to strength. Our next meeting will be in mid-October so hope to see you there.
www.thecorbettnetwork.com (Do have a look at it but it’lll take time to get on search engines as our wonderful web designer Studioyou.London explains: “When Google displays a new website in its search results and where in the list it gets displayed is completely out of the control of web developers. This is the same with any new website when it goes live. You’re starting out with no content kudos. It’s an unknown entity to Google.”