2 November 2018
Currently, adults in the UK re-offend at a rate of 63.8% and juveniles re-offend at a rate of 41.6% in the 12 months following release from prison. A new initiative launched on Wednesday pairs professional football clubs with prisons in an attempt to prevent reoffending.
Backed by the UK Ministry of Justice, the England Football Association, the Premier League and EFL, The Twinning Project aims to tackle the high rate of recidivism by using football to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce reoffending.
The project will enable football clubs, supported by officers from the Prison Service, to provide coaching, refereeing and other employability-based qualifications to prisoners as a route to paid employment. This has proven to be key in stopping repeat offences and helping prisoners to rebuild their lives.
The Twinning Project has been driven by David Dein, former vice-chairman of Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association along with fellow Arsenal legend Ian Wright.
"Football can be a powerful force for good, and the Twinning Project will use this to help people change their lives when they are released from prison.
"We are delighted to have the support of the Government and the whole of the UK football community. We believe the Twinning Project will make a real difference to people and communities across the country," said Dein.
Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of the Football Association, added: "The FA believes that football is For All and this fantastic initiative will showcase the very best of football and its capacity to inspire. We look forward to playing our part."