This week BBC Politics London highlighted Switchback’s research showing rising barriers to work faced by young prison-leavers in London, and the vital role of 1-to-1 support in enabling people to build stable lives away from crime.
Watch the full report and discussion above, which features recent Switchback Trainee Serge, and Switchback’s Head of Policy, Impact & Communications, Sam Boyd.
Switchback’s analysis of MoJ data, featured in the report, shows that only 9% of prison-leavers in London move into a job within 6 weeks of release. After 12 months, still only 17% of prison-leavers have entered work.
Switchback’s own data for 2020 shows a huge rise in barriers to work, with hundreds of young people being released with just the £46 discharge grant and nowhere to go. Among the young men supported by Switchback this year:
- 65% were released homeless, up from 42% last year
- 46% were released with no bak account, up from 33% last year
- 25% were released without a valid ID
- 40% have never worked before
Switchback is calling for urgent government action to ensure the 10,000 people released from prison to the capital each year have a real chance to build a stable life as part of society. This must include guarenteed access to the basic essentials like housing and ID, as well as meaningful 1-to-1 support.