UK Charity, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA), published their RSA Transitions Report setting out an alternative model of a not-for-profit community prison that would provide custody and rehabilitation services on a single site, working with between 500 and 700 people at any one time.
Under RSA plans, prisoners would be paid to work in social enterprises while in custody. This would continue through the gate with the aim of normalising work, addressing resettlement needs and securing employment in the community.
Salaries would make a contribution towards reparation to victims and individual savings towards resettlement. There would be an element of staff and service user ownership linked to performance and rehabilitation.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA said:
"In the current environment it is more important than ever for the £2.5 billion to be spent well. Every year, tens of thousands of people will leave prison and return to the community; the critical question is whether prison has made them less likely to reoffend. Prisons, like all public services, need to be measured by their ability to increase social productivity."
However,the introduction of working prisons is likely to require significant changes to the workforce and renegotiations of staff contracts.
Read the full RSA Transitions Report here.
Read the RSA Transitions Pamphlet here.