Going Straight: How one man quit crime after 25 years in and out of jail

Video report by Sarah Rogers


Steve Kirkbride says he's has been in and out of prison for the best part of 25 years.

The dad from Bury estimates he's done 40 spells inside for offences to feed his drug addiction. At his worst he spent £200 a day on heroin and cocaine, it was a full time job to maintain he says.

Steve Kirkbride says he won't be going back to prison

He said unable to get a job he just always fell back in with wrong crowd and his cycle of crime began again. He's heartbroken at what it's done to his family. But he's done with all that now he says, thanks to the help of charity Recycling Lives in Preston.

The charity aims to cut reoffending rates by supporting prisoners to independence with a program to get them into accommodation and work so they don't return to a life of crime.

Figures from April 2018 to March 2019 (the latest available) suggest 61% of those released after short sentences will go on to reoffend.

Compared to the national average their reoffending rates are unprecedented.

Only 10 men can stay at the centre as part of the programme at any one time but the charity also does outreach running academies within prisons.

It's business arm, a scrap yard and food redistribution centre are largely staffed by ex offenders. Bosses say in return for a job they get loyal staff, determined to turn their lives around.