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Bounce Back (www.bouncebackproject.com) was set
up as a response to the need for additional support to help ex-offenders
rehabilitate and find employment after their custodial sentences. Ex-offenders
face considerable challenges, including a very high unemployment rate which sees
75% claiming out-of-work benefits following their release. Research also shows
unemployed ex-offenders are twice as likely to re-offend. Bounce Back attempts
to address this vicious circle by providing a stable and supportive learning
environment with guaranteed employment opportunities in which their vulnerable
target group can prepare to enter the workforce, often for the first time. Over
the last 2 years Bounce Back has built a professional team of 40 qualified
painters and decorators offering competitive rates and a high standard of
Bounce Back has an innovative, scalable and transferable model that is effective in supporting ex-offenders into employment, avoid re-offending and become valued community members. Despite its innovative nature, their work has already had considerable success, supporting over 100 participants, with over 80% progressing into employment and a re-offending rate under 10%. Their work has drawn acclaim from sources including the London National Offender Management Service CFO Project Manager who described them as a "highly regarded exciting new innovator". Elements of their programme that are particularly innovative include:
- seamless and personalised support from behind the prison gates and back into the community;
- accredited training, delivered by ex-offenders, leading directly to employment in their social enterprise;
- the use of revenue generated by their social enterprise to contribute towards our charitable activities.
The project is excellent value, costing less than £2.5k per participant (which is expected to fall below £1.7k by 2014), compared to the annual cost of keeping someone in prison which Home Office figures quote from £50,000. Tom's Trust welcomes the work that Bounce Back is doing, and is very happy to help support them.