Tracey has welcomed the partnership of Snodland based charity UNLOCK with the Lloyds Banking Group, who have announced the expansion of their banking services to reformed offenders.
UNLOCK assist the programme by helping to identify eligible prisoners for basic bank accounts and have recently received a donation of £10,000 to help develop these services. The scheme, which has strict eligibility criteria, supports reformed offenders by providing bank accounts; assisting them in securing a job and accommodation to reduce the chances of their reoffending.
The initiative, being pioneered by Halifax (part of the Lloyds Banking Group), is committed to opening approximately 5,700 accounts per year for reformed offenders and its expansion will now ensure that all female prisons in the UK will have access to the scheme.
Tracey says: “It is a scandal that nearly half of all offenders reoffend within a year of their release. In many cases, a prisoner will be released without access to basic banking services, which are now essential when finding a job, receiving benefits or paying rent, and so may go on to reoffend simply for cash. The work of UNLOCK and the Lloyds Banking Group provides a fantastic opportunity to give reformed offenders a real chance to start again without these obstacles and the expansion of this scheme will provide an innovative Snodland based charity a real opportunity expand.”