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the need | sixty one

The need

Reoffending currently costs the British taxpayer over £10 billion per year, with 60% of ex-prisoners reoffending within two years of release. More locally, Bristol consistently ranks as a city with high crime rates, a significant percentage of these committed by ex-prisoners. But stopping reoffending is not easy.

Our experience shows that many prisoners express frustration that they are so often treated as problems to be fixed, rather than people with feelings. What they really need are people who are interested in them as human beings, people who will journey with them, support them and welcome them into their communities. Who is better placed to do this than the church?

Prison – some facts

  • 51% of prisoners have the literacy skills of an 11-year-old.

  • Parental imprisonment approximately trebles the risk of antisocial behaviour by their children.

  • The average age of people dying in prison from natural causes is just 56.

  • Boys taken into care as a child are twelve times more likely to go to prison than the general population.

  • Prisoners are 32 times more likely to have been homeless than the general population

  • Bristol’s crime rate places it in the worst 20% in the country with 102 recorded offences per 1,000 of the population - the national average is 63.

  • The total cost (including police, court, benefit and prison costs) of sending someone back to prison is £65,000 in the first year.

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