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MAKE AMENDS
2nd February 2015
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Did you know it costs around £40,000 per annum to keep a person in prison?

This substantial amount of money could be reduced if business owners can be encouraged to support the “Breaking the cycle” campaign.

Breaking the cycle was launched by the Ministry of Justice in 2010 with the objective of breaking the cycle of crime and reducing costs of re-offending.

Quarterly networking events take place at HMP Highpoint where local business owners, agencies and organisations are invited to learn more about the prison and the initiative. ‘Breaking the cycle’ aims to engage businesses and encourage them to work with the prison, to help equip the prisoners with the skills to find employment when they leave, perhaps by running workshops with the prisoners based on their trade, offering work placements or by helping the prisoners find work when they leave.

The campaign hopes to reduce the chances of the prisoners re-offending after their release by getting them into work so they can earn a wage and be able to find somewhere to live. Too often offenders are released from prison with no money and no means of getting a job, so they turn back to crime.

In early 2014 staff working in the Textile shop at HMP Highpoint decided to diversify their work by manufacturing items from recycled material. The brand Make Amends was born in the Spring of the same year and has developed into a wide selection of bespoke quality items such as hand bags, wash bags, children’s play aprons, curtains and cushions. Through links with LMB Textile Recycling and The English Curtain Company sufficient material is being sourced to allow prisoners to develop employability skills and to explore the possibility of self-employment on release.

The prison has now been cleared to sell these items and the long term plan is to develop Make Amends into a Social Enterprise which will look to make charitable donations to organisations both local to Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds and nationwide.

Steve Phillips, Head of Reducing Re-offending at HMP Highpoint, will be attending the “It’s Thursday with thebestof Haverhill” networking event on 19th February at Days Inn Haverhill and will be showcasing this amazing range of recycled products which will also be available to purchase at the event. 

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Sophie A

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