Chris Moore, Chief Executive, The Clink Charity

New data released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) provides evidence that prisoners participating in The Clink Charity’s innovative hospitality training scheme are less likely to reoffend, with the report conducted by the Justice Data Lab (JDL) stating the charity has achieved a “statistically significant result”.

Inside the walls of our restaurants, all four of which are 3-star SRA Award holders, it’s easy to become immersed in the dining experience, as you’re served some of the finest cuisine in the local area. Behind the scenes however we represent much more than just good food with more than 160 serving prisoners currently working and training within our rehabilitation schemes.

The research results found that for every 100 typical people participating in The Clink’s training scheme, 17 would go on to re-offend within a year of release whereas for every 100 typical non-participants in a group of similar people, 29 would re-offend within a year. This indicates that there has been a 41.0% reduction in the likelihood of re-offending for those participating in our programme.

The report goes on to estimate that of the Clink graduates assessed, ‘68% were unemployed’ and ‘32% had significant problems with problem solving’. A lack of education and employment, prior to conviction, are key factors in those who commit crimes, and we ensure that our trainees receive the highest level of training in order to break the cycle of reoffending. Mentored by our talented chef ambassadors, including the likes of Albert Roux, Antonio Carluccio OBE and Giorgio Locatelli, we are not only successfully breaking this cycle, but also producing some of the finest chefs of the next generation.

We’d like to give recognition to all involved in The Clink, with special thanks to our ambassadors and trustees, for whom The Clink programme wouldn’t be possible without their ongoing support. We’d also like to mention our 200+ partner employers, such as high street chains Benugo and Carluccio’s as well as the Lancaster London hotel who, by employing and supporting our graduates, have made a huge contribution to these statistics, behind which are some incredible human stories.

With four restaurants currently in operation at HMP High Down, HMP Cardiff, HMP Brixton and HMP Styal, alongside Clink Events and The Clink Gardens, we’re well on our way to achieving our plans for the future, as we aim to have 20 training facilities in operation by 2020. Reaching this target will see more than 1,000 highly trained and qualified Clink graduates enter employment each year.

The results of the Justice Data Lab report provide statistical verification that the determined work of The Clink Charity is the right course to be followed if we are to continue to reduce re-offending rates in the UK. Although the figures show that we have made a considerable impact on reducing recidivism, as well as the number of offences committed by those who did go on to reoffend, we are confident that the 2017 JDL review of The Clink Charity will show further reductions as we continue to expand The Clink concept across the prison estate, in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS).

To book a table at one of our award-winning restaurants or to find out more about the charity and how you can support our work please visit our website.