It’s the amount in pounds that people get released from prison with.
It hasn’t gone up for over a decade and they are still fairly unlikely to have a bank account to put it in. Had I been writing a blog at the outset of my career working with the secure estate twenty years ago, it would have likely been not dissimilar to this.
That we lock up more people than any other country in Europe, that 60% reoffend within a year and that this costs us all around £15bn is a sorry indictment of a country, political system and us all as the electorate.
People are doing extraordinary, albeit piecemeal things to intervene, ameliorate fairly locally and develop the evidence base. There is no shortage of evidence for what works however. What is lacking is long-term investment and commitment for true change and this will only come about with the depoliticisation of the justice system.
Save your £46 and resolve issues of housing, work and community resettlement. People leaving prison with nothing have few options open to them. To have a live worth living, such as we all aspire to, takes time and relationships whilst having other specialists for those more complex cases too.
Seeing the difference our mentors make is just one small part of this. Seeing that someone cares, can reflect your own thoughts back at you in a meaningful way to make sense of them and having someone in your life with no agenda is a powerful tool at all our disposals.