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Jobs reduces reoffending risk for ex-prisoners, governor tells business leaders

Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership held a Breakfast Briefing within the walls of the prison. Woodhill inmates cooked and served a ‘full English’ to their visitors and some prisoners then sat down with prison staff and MKBLP guests.

The event was co-organised by Milton Keynes College which provides offender learning programmes at Woodhill and 27 other prisons in England.

Mr Davis is pictured with college principal and chief executive Dr Julie Mills, who is also a MKBLP board member.

She said the visit aimed at encouraging employers to consider those leaving prison with work skills to fill roles in their organisations.

Woodhill holds around 730 inmates with a range of offending behaviours. The aim of education and training programmes within the prison was that on release ex-inmates should be better people and their risk of reoffending be reduced, Mr Davis said.

He added: “Getting them into employment when they leave increases the chances of them not coming back into prison.”

Some inmates arrive with the skills needed on the outside including plumbing, engineering and gardening. With the expertise of partners such as Milton Keynes College, they develop those skills, learn new ones and gain relevant qualifications.

Woodhill has a good relationship with some local employers and inmates had moved into jobs on leaving.

Mr Davis said: “Prisoners going out into work will have gained certificates showing they are drug free and have addressed their own behaviour.”

He told visitors: ‘The team here is committed to helping you as employers and we can adapt our programmes to your needs. Whatever you need, we can help with it so that you and your companies can help the people in here.

“I have a good budget for this, come and speak to us and find out more.”