Breaking the cycle

Prison should be about rehabilitation, not just punishment. Yet two thirds of people re-offend within two years of leaving prison, committing at least one million crimes and costing the taxpayer £13bn a year. People in prison need services and support to help them overcome their problems and lead a life free from crime. Charities often play a crucial role in helping them achieve this and in reducing re-offending rates amongst ex-prisoners.

NPC’s latest report, Breaking the cycle, is an update of our earlier report on people in prison and on release, Inside and out. It looks at how recent changes in the criminal justice system have affected the work of charities, and investigates how funders can create lasting change.

Did you know?

  • The prison population has grown rapidly over the past five years as sentences get tougher and longer.
  • Over 70% of prisoners experience mental health problems and half have no qualifications.

The most urgent priorities for funding include:

  • direct services, such as employment programmes, housing advice projects and ‘through the gate’ support on release; and
  • campaigning, lobbying for policy change and challenging public opinion.

Within these areas donors have the opportunity to achieve lasting change—not only in an individual’s life, but also for the community at large.

Read Trial and error, NPC’s report into young offenders.