The Twinning Project will be working closely with HMP Lincoln and the football club to provide courses that help the prisoners readjust to life after their sentence finishes.
Courses for the project are to help prisoners in leadership skills and football coaching. It is set to commence in the second quarter of this year, with February 2019 set to be a pivotal month in providing the platform for these opportunities.
Currently in the UK adults re-offend at a rate of 63.8% and juveniles re-offend at a rate of 41.6% in the twelve months after release. With an average inmate costing £37,500 a year (as of December 2018) to UK prisons and over half reoffending after release, it highlights the need to educate prisoners before release in order for a positive contribution to society to be made.
Premier League clubs as well as Lincoln City, are looking to promote local rehabilitation and engage with communities.
As of today, the following football clubs have also agreed to the Twinning Project: Arsenal, Aston Villa, AFC Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol Rovers, Bury, Cardiff City,Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Doncaster Rovers, Everton, Exeter City, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Lincoln City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Millwall, Newcastle United, Notts County, Oldham Athletic, Plymouth Argyle, QPR, Rochdale, Rotherham United, Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, Tranmere Rovers and West Ham United.
David Dein, former chairman of Arsenal Football Club and founder of the Twinning Project said this in relation to it’s positive impact: “Since its launch, the Twinning Project has seen huge interest and enthusiasm from across the UK football family and prison service”.
“Together as part of the Twinning Project, we will build on this momentum, bring structure and help to use football as a force for good that will deliver real change for people and communities across the UK”.
More clubs since the start of the year have joined the scheme and it is looking at more clubs across the country and even in the National League, to get behind the scheme.
A spokesperson for the Twinning Project said: “We are aiming to bring together professional football clubs and prisons across the UK, using football as the catalyst for change.
” The initiative highlights how powerful football is as a universal language and how it can instil a sense of belonging that can prove vital.”
Justice Secretary Lord Justice Gauke said: “I am delighted to see so many football clubs supporting this wonderful project”
“Rehabilitation should be at the heart of every prison and although I am clear that offenders are sent to prison as punishment, they should leave with it having been a real turning point in their lives”.
The Alliance for Sport has congratulated David Dein and the various clubs that have joined the programme. They are wanting more clubs to follow suit, before and after the courses are underway.
For more information on the Twinning Project, head to the official website.