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Facts on Tap

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Time Better Spent

A third of prisoners spend at least 22 hours a day locked in their cells[1].  Unsurprisingly, reoffending rates are high (50%)[2] and employment rates are low (20%)[3] after prison. Time in training and employment is TIME BETTER SPENT[4]

 

 

 [1] The exact percentage of course fluctuates constantly and varies widely between different types of prison, this figure is our attempt at a reasonably accurate estimate across the board, based on the authoritative prison inspectorate reports see e.g. https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/10/Findings-paper-Living-conditions-FINAL-.pdf; https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/07/6.4472_HMI-Prisons_AR-2017-18_Content_A4_Final_WEB.pdf.  In some types of prison, such as those housing young adults and high security prisons, the figure is much higher.  In some types of prisons the percentage will be lower, although concerningly even in training prisons, where prisoners are supposed to be given the opportunity to work to reduce their risk of reoffending, 20% reported being locked in their cell for at least 22 hours a day.

[2] Again the reoffending rate is dynamic, but remains stubbornly high, 48% within one year across all adults released from prison, rising to 64% for those released from short sentences (less than one year) and as high as 70% for children released from prison. (Ministry of Justice (2019) Proven reoffending statistics quarterly: April to June 2017.

[3] According to the government (Ministry of Justice (2018) Education and employment strategy) only 17% of people are in stable PAYE employment a year after being released from prison.

[4] For the value of training and employment opportunities in reducing reoffending and improving ex-offenders’ life chances, see the notes associated with our “Jobsworth” beer.

 

 

 

Cell Count

At £42k/year[1], a prison place costs about 10 times more than a community sentence of the same length[2], and comes with higher reoffending rates[3]. Reducing the CELL COUNT, and making greater use of day release[4], would mean savings for the taxpayer and reduced crime rates. 

 

 

 [1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841948/costs-per-place-costs-per-prisoner-2018-2019.pdf

[2] No very recent data has been made publicly available by the government, but the average cost of a community or suspended sentence order was £4,135 in 2011/12 Ministry of Justice, Probation Trust Unit Costs Financial Year 2011–12 (revised), 28 November 2012

[3] Many studies have proven this fact, see e.g. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/399389/impact-of-short-custodial-sentences-on-reoffending.PDF

[4] For the value of day release, see the notes associated with our “Day Release” beer

 

 

False Economy

Prisoners get £76* for the journey after prison [1], and for those without homes, often just a tent[2]. Without the necessary support to rebuild, half of prison leavers reoffend within a year[3], costing the taxpayer a further £6bn annually[4]. This is a FALSE ECONOMY.

 

 *This figure was increased in 2021. From 1995-2021, the discharge grant sat at just £46. 

[1] https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2011/psi-72-2011.doc.  This ‘discharge grant’ has not been increased since 1996.  For a detailed analysis of the inadequacy of this grant, and other financial support available to prison leavers, see https://www.clinks.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/clinks_briefing_moj_uc%26dg_V3a.pdf

[2]https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-36032693; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6774259/Prisoners-given-TENTS-leave-jail.html; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prisoners-given-methadone-and-tents-upon-leaving-jail-nn6p2wj96

[3] The reoffending rate is dynamic, but remains stubbornly high, 48% within one year across all adults released from prison, rising to 64% for those released from short sentences (less than one year) and as high as 70% for children released from prison. (Ministry of Justice (2019) Proven reoffending statistics quarterly: April to June 2017. 

[4] The overall annual cost of reoffending to the taxpayer for the 2016 cohort was estimated at £18.1 billion.  Approximately £6 billion (one third) of this cost was a result of people reoffending after being released from a prison sentence (see figure 7 – page of https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/814650/economic-social-costs-reoffending.pdf)

 

 

 

Jobsworth

Half of all employers wouldn’t hire someone with a criminal record[1]. The unemployment, low self-esteem and financial dependence that result are secondary punishments after prison[2]. Finding work makes a person up to 70% less likely to reoffend[3]; that’s what a JOB’S WORTH. 

 

 

[1] YouGov and Department for Work and Pensions (2016).   An earlier 2010 survey by Working Links of 300 employers found that only 18% had hired someone with a criminal conviction during the previous three years, and almost three quarters admitted that a conviction disclosure would culminate in rejection of that applicant in favour of a similarly qualified candidate without convictions (Working Links, 2010.) https://centreforentrepreneurs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Prison-Entrepreneurs-Report-WEB-1.pdf

[2] With the result that only 17% of ex-offenders are in stable employment a year after leaving prison: Ministry of Justice (2018) Education and employment strategy

[3] https://cleansheet.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Clean-Sheet-Annual-Report.pdf;

Chant, J. Lockhart, G. Ullman, B. (2008) You’re Hired!  Encouraging the Employment of Ex-offenders. Policy Exchange Research https://www.policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/youre-hired-sep-08.pdf;

also of note in this context is that 68% of ex-offenders themselves consider a job the single most important factor in reducing their risk of reoffending - https://centreforentrepreneurs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Prison-Entrepreneurs-Report-WEB-1.pdf;  Social Exclusion Unit (2002) Reducing Re-offending by ex-prisoners  http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/wp-content/uploads/reducing-reoffending.pdf

 

 

Inside Out

The route out of prison is an obstacle course[1]: release means rebuilding family relationships, finding jobs, securing housing and readjusting to freedom[2]. Tap Social supports this crucial transition from INSIDE OUT, offering fairly paid employment and continuity during and after prison. [3]

 

 

[1] For examples of some of the practical barriers faced by prison leavers see https://www.nacro.org.uk/policy-and-research/barriers-to-effective-resettlement/ and for a focus on the financial exclusion suffered by prisoners see http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/uploads/documents/timeismoney.pdf

[2] For a full discussion of many of the issues facing prisoners attempting to re-start their lives after prison see http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/OutforGood.pdf

[3] For more information about our social mission and ex-offender employment programmes see
https://www.tapsocialmovement.com/story

 

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