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UK: Inside Job - Creating a market for real work in prison

13th June 2011

A new report from Policy Exchange has highlighted that those who work a 40-hour week could contribute to taxes while earning them a net wage and saving for a 'resettlement fund' for when they are released.

The report, Inside Job - Creating a market for real work in prison, recommends that prisoners be encouraged to engage with 'real work' which would benefit themselves and society at the same time. The programme would also help to enhance their employment prospects when they are released. 

Only 24,000 places are available for prisoners to work out of a prison population of 85,000. The report recommends that the privilege system be reformed to favour those who engage in work, and that some privileges, like television, be paid out of wages earned by prisoners.

The report emphasizes: 

"To be successful in driving change throughout the Prison Service, the new agenda for real work in prison needs to be distinct from the current conception of work in prison, which is often activity for activity’s sake, and mainly consists of non-commercial, short-term programmes and skills courses that are poorly paid, provide no social benefit and do not reflect the realities of employment."

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