Supporting offenders to gain skills

Evidence shows that prisoners who are kept active are less like to suffer from mental health problems and act violently in prison. At the same time, ex-offenders in employment are less likely to commit further crime. Amey are strong advocates for rehabilitation, part of this is our commitment to hire the best people for the job, regardless of their background or history. Many prisons cells and communal rooms having fallen into disrepair due to wear and tear and vandalism (which costs £6million every year in the estate maintained by Amey).

What did we do?

CRED (Clean, Rehabilitative, Enabling, Decent) is Amey’s unique programme that offers serving prisoners and young offenders the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. Working alongside the Amey Prison FM team, the men and women prisoners help to support a dedicated programme of activity designed to bring cells and wing areas up to the HMPPS safe and decent standards.  The CRED programme is a cost-effective solution that allows prisons to raise living standards, install pride while supporting the rehabilitation of men and women in their care.

The prisoners learn skills in painting and decorating which they can take into the world of work on release.

CRED is a uniquely collaborative approach involving Governors, the prison SLT, Amey site management team and prisoners at each prison. The programme plays a significant part in lifting standards of prisoner accommodation, helping prisons achieve a good decency audit and  importantly developing the skills of prisoners and making them more equipped to entering the world of work on release. Furthermore , the wider prisoner population respects the work of the CRED team leading to a general reduction in cell damage and vandalism.

Completing the circle, all 20 prisons taking part in the CRED programme purchase their paints from Paint 360. They are a social enterprise who provide environmentally friendly recycled paint, whilst creating jobs for young people who are ex-offenders or long-term unemployed in the Black Country. As part of Amey’s partnership with the social enterprise, Paint 360 are sole provider of paint for the CRED programme.  Furthermore, as part of the partnership, Paint360 will also be supporting Amey to provide future work experience opportunities to prisoners released on ROTOL who have taken part in the CRED programme. (see separate case study on Paint 360).  

What was the impact?

Since the launch of CRED in 2017 20 prisons have joined the programme with plans to mobilise in a further 5 prisons in 2021. In this time:

  • 3907 cells have been refurbished
  • 44,860 meaningful prisoner hours of activity have been achieved
  • the programme has led to two full-time employment outcomes achieved within Amey and our supply chain

Dominic joined the Amey Prison Maintenance Team at HMP Onley in 2017 to gain work experience during his sentence as part of the Amey pilot CRED Programme. Impressing the Amey team with his general maintenance skills, knowledge and commitment to turn his life around, Dominic was offered the opportunity to join the team full-time upon release. Amey worked with the Governor, HMPPS and the East Midlands DDC, to secure Dominic a full-time role after a rigorous vetting process, Dominic started full-time employment with Amey at HMP Onley shortly after his release. He is the first serving prisoner in the UK to be employed and work in the prison where he served his sentence.

“CRED has provided the prisoners with ‘real on the job’ experience. This helps them become upskilled in readiness for their eventual release; gives them a real sense of pride knowing that they are responsible for delivering a quality outcome; an opportunity to earn money whilst in prison and a real sense of teamwork and self-worth in partnering improvements for others to eventually live in. Other prisoners have shown significantly higher regard and respect for their cells in the knowledge that their peers are responsible for the handiwork.CRED is something I am absolutely committed to as a governor and intend expanding this simple and very effective partnership working concept throughout the prison." Ian West, Governor, HMP/YOI Swinfen Hall

I am very grateful to Amey for giving me this amazing opportunity and the trust they have shown in me. Also without the belief and support from Governor, I would not have been given this chance. I will not let anyone down and I hope that this can prove to other prisoners that people are willing to give you a second chance.” Dominic , Amey General Maintenance Operative, HMP Onley

 “I enjoy being on CRED as it helps with my mental health, I feel the painting is very relaxing and my day flies, it keeps my mind occupied.” Serving prisoner on CRED programme

“CRED gives us a sense of community, the teamwork hard to provide a decent place for everyone to live.” Serving prisoner on CRED programme