HA's ex-offenders scheme wins praise from crime boss
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
A housing association's scheme that employs ex-offenders to clean up 'grotspots' across Manchester has been backed by the police and crime commissioner.
Northward Housing's Your Environmental Team (YET) scheme has led to a 60% reduction in reoffending rates since it started four years ago.
Gary Conway, 42, from Newton Heath, has been in and out of prison since he was a teenager after becoming addicted to crack cocaine and heroin. He was released from prison in July after serving a 10-month sentence for shoplifting.
He said: "Getting this job has changed my prospects entirely. It's given me confidence, it's helped me get a CV together and I've been able to demonstrate teamwork.
"I'm up at 6am every morning, there's a reason to get up, to go to work. I don't know where I would be without the project."
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, the national re-offending rate of those who have been in prison is 47.2%, whilst the rate of re-offending on the YET project is 19%.
Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd said: "What this project does is help people get normality in their lives - developing the good habits of getting up for a job and showing that they can do it. It helps put a stop to the revolving door of going in and out of prison, helps people better themselves and that should be applauded."
The team are currently tidying up, pulling down sheds and scaling back undergrowth at a communal garden in Moston that was tended by a keen gardener on the estate before he died.
Claire Tyrrell, head of neighbourhood services for Northwards, said: “We’re ensuring that ex-offenders don’t slip back into the life that got them into prison in the first place.
“They gain valuable experience in the world of work, earning a real wage and can be more included in society.”
The other social housing providers behind YET are Adactus Housing Association, Arawak Walton, Great Places, Guinness Northern Counties, Johnnie Johnson, Places for People and Tung Sing.
READ NEXT »