Ex-offenders training programme saves taxpayer £10 million
A training programme to help ex-offenders in Greater Manchester rebuild their lives by upskilling and finding work has saved the taxpayer an estimated £10 million, according to latest figures from Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
The CleanStart programme, a social enterprise initiative set up by Trafford Housing Trust and GMP, employs ex-offenders from the local community to clear out and clean empty properties, so that they can be re-let. Former offenders are contracted to work with the Trust for between six and nine months, at the end of which time, it is hoped they will move into permanent employment with local companies.
Since Trafford Housing Trust launched the social enterprise five years ago, thirty nine former offenders have been through the programme, with 22 finding permanent work.
Figures released by GMP reveal that CleanStart has saved the taxpayer £10 million - by reducing re-offending rates and the burden on the criminal justice system.
Deborah Elgar, Trafford Housing Trust's social enterprise senior manager, said:"CleanStart has been tremendously successful over the past five years in helping ex-offenders to get their lives back on track, by providing them with the right skills and outlook to find permanent work, and avoid reoffending.
"We have had an very healthy conversion rate, with well over half of our participants going on to find permanent employment, and the vast majority staying out of prison for the long-term. The benefits, for the individuals involved, and for society, have been immense."
Trafford Housing Trust has extended the reach of its work by launching the Rainbow Furniture Centre, a Trust-owned furniture recycling centre on Cornbrook Park Road, run by ex-offenders, where customers can purchase low cost, high quality second hand furniture at affordable prices. A successful partnership has also been developed over the past year with HMP Styal - a closed women's prison in Cheshire - in which training and employment opportunities for current inmates are provided, to help them reintegrate more quickly upon their release.
Sergeant Scott Braithwaite from Greater Manchester Police's Trafford Division added: "The CleanStart programme continues to be very successful in reducing re-offending rates, by giving former offenders a chance to forge a new path for themselves. It reduces the burden on the police force, saves the taxpayer money and results in a more positive and fulfilling life for the individuals involved. It's a real success story."