“Do you feel that, Chris? You know, the destruction of hope, the pervading sense that we just have to accept all this.”
Oh dear, it’s Monday morning, and I had been quite hopeful of just having a coffee…
“So, Chris, are you just another brick in the wall?”
Maybe he’s already had a few caffeines!
“Government says the reoffending rate’s down… is that true, Chris?”
I was tempted to reply with another Pink Floyd quote… “We don’t need no thought control.”
Instead, I grumbled about complex statistics, mine-fields, and my feelings on increasing duplicitousness.
And then I explained…
On February 8th, 2016, David Cameron said… “46% of all prisoners will re-offend within a year of release.”
HM Gov are now saying… Reoffending for community sentences and imprisonment are 28.8% and 36.7% respectively (Source: Ministry of Justice, 2023).
Oh, so, well done that Government!
Or is it?
Are they measuring like for like..? When fewer offenders are now being caught and brought to justice, while delays in the criminal justice system are masking some reoffending that would previously have been included.
Other organisations using the same MoJ data are indicating a different reoffending rate.
The comparable reoffending rates for community sentences and imprisonment are 56% and 63% respectively (Source: Prison Reform Trust, 2023).
LandWorks reoffending figures remain below 6% (Independently evaluated by the University of Plymouth).
Finally, Mr Caffeinated and I sit down, for a coffee and a chat.
I tell him I do still have hope, and no, we don’t have to accept ‘all this’.
And, I don’t believe that quantitative statistics on their own are all that helpful. To get the full picture, they need to be seen alongside qualitative evidence.
Mr Caffeinated left prison 8 months ago. I am now confident that he will not reappear as a reoffending statistic. But his own story, describing his ‘lived experience’, his evidence of why the LandWorks approach works…
Well, that is clear.
And, all in all, I prefer to think we are not just another brick in the wall.
25th May 2023