Chelmsford Prison hopes to tackle high levels of re-offending by working with a Premier League football club.

Players and coaches from West Ham United have teamed up with the Essex jail to help prepare inmates for release.

The Twinning Project aims to make prisoners more employable by giving them confidence, leadership skills and coaching qualifications.

  • Currently in the UK adults reoffend at a rate of 63.8% and juveniles reoffend at a rate of 41.6% in the twelve months after release.

  • Only 17% of offenders enter the workplace upon release, leading to a high reoffending rate.

  • Lack of paid employment on release is the #1 issue driving reoffending.

  • The average yearly cost per prisoner in the UK is £35,371 comparable to the annual cost of sending a child to a leading British public school.

The Twinning Project aims to bring together professional football clubs and prisons across the UK to tackle the high reoffending rate by using football as a catalyst for change to provide real opportunities to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce reoffending which is a huge cost to the country and local communities.

David Dein, former Vice Chairman of Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association and founder of the Twinning Project, said: “Football can be a powerful force for good, and the Twinning Project will use this to help people change their lives when they are released from prison.

“There is already great work being done in prisons across the country aimed at reducing reoffending and this initiative will build on that using football.