Driving jobs through social enterprise.
In 2010, Francesca Findlater founded Bounce Back, the painting and decorating social enterprise which provides training, work experience and employment for offenders at the end of their sentences – when re-offending is most likely to occur. Bounce Back competes on a level playing field with private companies to offer professional services on residential and commercial projects. Its work includes office refurbishment and partnering developers and housing associations on large scale regeneration schemes.
Bounce Back works with several prisons in London, including HMP Wandsworth, HMP Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Brixton. The social enterprise starts working with offenders when they’re still in prison. Following interview, selected candidates are mentored and supported to the end of their sentence, given training and the opportunity to acquire qualifications. On release, candidates complete their training and studies, before working on voluntary painting and decorating projects in the local community – vital work experience prior to paid employment.
To date, Bounce Back have supported 80% of their participants into paid employment – and only 10% have re-offended. It costs up to £90,000 a year to keep someone in prison and £29,000 to keep them on benefits. To train someone through Bounce Back costs just £2,500.
There are many compelling reasons for our work:
- 90,000 prisoners are released every year
- It costs over £50,000 per annum to keep someone in prison
- It costs £29,000 per annum to keep someone on benefits
- Based on the figures above, every person we train and put into employment saves the Government and taxpayer £76,500 per person once we deduct our costs
- 6 out of 10 employers automatically exclude those with a criminal record
- 1 in 10 people in the UK have a criminal conviction for something other than a driving offence
- During their time at school 7% of children experience their father’s imprisonment
The above article first published on socialenterprise.org.uk.