Reskilling prisoners, and supporting them into employment after release, does more than create second chances: it significantly reduces re-offending and creates savings for the public purse.

Every £1 invested in The Clink’s prisoner training and support programme delivers a return on investment of £4.80, says new report by Pro Bono Economics.

Beyond transforming lives, The Clink Charity’s prisoner education and training programme, reskilling prisoners during their time in custody and then supporting into full-time employment after release, significantly reduces reoffending and creates significant economic savings for the public purse, according to an independent analysis conducted by charity Pro Bono Economics of The Clink’s integrated training and education programme for prisoners serving time in Her Majesty’s Prisons.1

The analysis is based on a Justice Data Lab report which established that reoffending rates among Clink ‘graduates’, at 0.46 per former prisoner, are statistically significantly lower – by 17 percentage points – than in a comparison group (0.63). It calculates that for every £1 invested (£3,900 per individual), The Clink’s integrated training and support programme has the potential to deliver a return of £4.80 (benefit of £18,900 per individual).  This return is achieved by reducing reoffending rates, estimated to cost the taxpayer and society £18.1 billion per annum2.

The Clink Charity delivers £37 million of savings to the prison service, government and society

Working in partnership with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), The Clink Charity, now 10 years old, has invested over £5m of philanthropic funds from grant-maintaining trusts and individuals.  It is estimated that the reductions in prisoner reoffending rates achieved by The Clink over the past decade have saved the prison service, government and society a total of £37 million. Through its five-step integrated programme (Recruit, Train, Support, Employ, Mentor), The Clink has supported over 2,500 men and women in prison, intervening 6 to 18 months before inmates’ scheduled release, and continuing to support them into accommodation and full-time employment for 12 months after their return to society.  This integrated approach has been proven to significantly lower the chances that a former prisoner will re-enter the prison system. Funded by the Ministry of Justice and private donations, The Clink Charity will be investing further in 2020 through The Clink Gardens projects which will open at HMP Styal in Cheshire later this year.

Jo Farrar, Chief Executive Officer, HM Prison & Probation Service says: “This report is testament to the partnership that has been developed over many years between HMPPS and The Clink Charity. It is a partnership that has helped prisoners gain skills and find employment, contributing to reducing reoffending in the process and helping people to change their lives.”

Lord Gus O'Donnell, Chair of Pro Bono Economics, notes:

“Currently, reoffending by former prisoners costs the taxpayer £18 billion every year, but just one in five inmates receives any support in preparation for their return to society.  Without effective rehabilitation, nearly one in three of the 80,000 people in prison will reoffend, and the outcomes are adverse, costly and chronic, such as reduced earnings and increased demands on government benefits and criminal justice services.  This analysis of The Clink Charity’s integrated training and support scheme highlights the economic potential that lies in reskilling inmates. They derive significant economic benefit from rebuilding their lives in a purposeful way – as do other taxpayers and the rest of society.  Not only does this economic analysis pinpoint the value of this type of rehabilitation in prisons, it plays a role in commissioning decisions.”

Finlay Scott, The Clink Charity Chairman comments:

“The incredible work carried out by The Clink has long been held in high regard by the MoJ; this report demonstrates the clear advantages when commissioning this style of programme within prisons. Providing skills and employment, we see The Clink outcomes not only providing an important workforce for the future, but reducing the prison population permanently, saving millions as a result. Continued investment into this important service is essential and the Pro Bono Economics report delivers that message back to Government at a time when public finances are under even greater strain.’

Bojana Ignjatovic, Partner at RBB Economics, Clink Trustee, and co-author of the report notes:

“This report provides further evidence that the programme provided by The Clink Charity is not only essential to prisoner reform and rehabilitation in the UK, but delivers a sustainable and robust return on investment. The Ministry of Justice has already recognised this ground-breaking charity for its work and we look forward to future expansion of The Clink’s work in UK prisons.”

To find out more about The Clink Charity and its prisoner training initiatives please visit


Notes to editors

For interviews, images or other media enquiries please contact:

Pro Bono Economics

SENSO Communications
Penny Lukats, 07775992350, [email protected]

The Clink Charity

Carey Trevill, 07788 741545, [email protected]



  1. The Clink Charity, An Economic Impact Analysis, Pro Bono Economics, June 2020
  2. Ministry of Justice, Economic and social costs of reoffending Analytical report, 2019


About Pro Bono Economics

PBE helps charities and social enterprises understand and improve the impact and value of their work, matching professional economists who want to use their skills to volunteer with charities. Set up in 2009, PBE has helped more than 500 charities large and small, covering a wide range of issues including mental health, education, employment and complex needs.

PBE is supported by high-profile economists, including Andy Haldane (Bank of England), Sir Dave Ramsden (Bank of England), and Clare Lombardelli (HM Treasury) as trustees, and Diane Coyle (University of Cambridge), Kate Barker, Lord Jim O’Neill, Robert Peston, Martin Wolf and Lord Adair Turner as patrons. Lord Gus O’Donnell has chaired PBE since September 2016.


About the report

The report was produced by volunteers from RBB Economics on behalf of Pro Bono Economics. Its analysis is based on a Justice Data Lab report which established that reoffending rates among Clink ‘graduates’ are statistically significantly lower at 0.46 per individual vs 0.63 in a comparison group. The report calculates that for every £1 invested (£3,900 per individual in total), The Clink Charity’s integrated training and support programme has the potential to deliver a return of £4.80 (a total of £18,900 per individual). This return is achieved by reducing re-offending rates, estimated to cost the taxpayer £18 billion per annum. The benefits estimated in the report are based solely on the reduction in the rate of reoffending. These incorporate: Reduced costs in anticipation of crime (e.g. security infrastructure and insurance administration); Value of property stolen or damaged; Victim costs (Direct harm, Lost output, Health costs); Police costs; Criminal justice service costs, and Prison costs.


About The Clink Charity

The Clink Charity breaks the cycle of crime by changing attitudes both inside and outside of the prison, creating second chances and transforming lives whilst reducing reoffending rates for the benefit of society as a whole. The prisoners at each of The Clink Restaurants and other Clink training projects volunteer to be trained to gain their City & Guilds National Vocational Qualifications and benefit from the mentoring scheme in one of the eleven training projects they operate.

Twitter: @TheClinkCharity

Instagram: @theclinkrestaurant @theclinkcafe

For interviews, images or other media enquiries please contact:

Carey Trevill, Marketing/PR at The Clink Charity

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07788 74154