A study has found that prisoners are less likely to reoffend in their first year of release if intervention is by a charity rather than a private company.
A report by charity thinktank New Philanthropy Capital has found that 28% of charity projects have helped to reduce reoffending compared to 19% of private companies, reports the Guardian.
The report looked into the preliminary findings of the Justice Data Lab, a pilot project set up by the Ministry of Justice to support the evaluation of rehabilitation programmes in England and Wales.
Anne Kazimirski, head of measurement and evaluation at NPC, said: “at their strongest, charities have expertise and empathy in criminal justice work which clearly helps turns people’s lives around. This is reflected in the results, where they outperform their private counterparts.”
The report singled out the Prisoner’s Education Trusts as particularly successful.
Rod Clark, chief executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust, said:“The Justice Data Lab has been hugely valuable in providing a resource for organisations to study the reoffending rates of their service users.”
But he warned that results would vary depending on the groups organisations are working with. “It is important to examine a full range of evaluation evidence, rather than just the statistics. And it is difficult to get statistically robust results if the sample of service users is small.”
An MoJ spokesperson said: “The report highlights the positive role of the Justice Data Lab in allowing charities to evaluate their offender rehabilitation programmes.”
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