Sophie O'Sullivan, about 3 months ago
Catch22 designs and delivers public services that build resilience and aspiration in people and communities.
This week, we are delighted to share the first piece in a blog series in collaboration with Catch22. The series looks at the incredible work they do, and have done for over 200 years, especially within the justice system and in supporting prison leavers into employment.
The opportunities are endless if we, as a society, work together, and if we have a truly rehabilitative focus within the justice system.
We caught up with the team at Catch22 to learn more about their ground-breaking vision for public service reform and rehabilitative change.
Catch22 strive for a strong society where everyone has a good place to live, a purpose and good people around them. The team inform us that these factors have always been essential for those trying to get out of any systemic 'catch-22'.
Often half the battle is understanding exactly where the gaps are in the public system and what personal factors need to be addressed, but whether it's someone trying to get a job without any experience, a child excluded from school who has no confidence to learn, or another trying to leave a life of crime, when we can give these people access to the right support, society will be stronger.
We asked the team their thoughts on how organisations working in the justice sector can do more to affect positive change. Catch22 note that there is already much good work. They believe that sharing experience and best practice is crucial.
An example of some really impactful work would be Code4000, an organisation we work with training prisoners to be software engineers; they have had zero reoffending amongst their graduates and they've placed ex-prisoners in jobs with the likes of Lloyds bank. With that, they're not only influencing large employers like Lloyds, but by working directly with larger organisations, like us, they are able to have greater influence across many more prisons.
Catch22 have several major partnerships in place – such as Connect with Work with Barclays, and Horizons, their flagship employability programme, partnering with the likes of JP Morgan Chase.
It is on businesses and civil society as much as it is on government to do good in our society. And if we want to see change, then collaboration is essential.
Collaboration underpins much of Catch22's innovation and impact. It is hugely beneficial in the delivery of education, training and employment support.
The team tells us that they have recently partnered with Salesforce and Microsoft to provide those looking for work in digital and technology centres with free training programmes and pathways into digital apprenticeships.
These organisations can provide huge opportunities in ensuring our programmes are fit for purpose.
As the UK recovers from the pandemic, employers are finding the flexibility, diversity and loyalty they need in a skilled ex-offender workforce that spans a wide range of commercial sectors.
Our series shines a light on this and celebrates Catch22's successful programmes within the hospitality, energy and tech sectors. This work has a transformative impact on employers and individuals alike. We hope it will inspire more employers across industries to invest in the potential of this community.
Stay tuned for our final blog which will outline how employers can get involved with Catch22!
Instead of pushing a punitive narrative towards criminals, we should be promoting solutions, investing in them, and then showing off the impact of this work. For every prison sentence, there is opportunity to reshape that person's life – to find purpose and to ensure they contribute to society in future.
To learn more about Catch22, please click here.