The two year project at HMP YOI Portland used sport (particularly football and rugby) as a way of engaging with young adult male prisoners aged 18 - 21 years of age in identifying and meeting resettlement needs and facilitating the transition from custody to community.

Impact headlines:

  • A total of 81 young male adult offenders at HMP YOI Portland participated over a two-year period.
  • Participants were representative of the male young adult prisoner population according to offence category and risk of reoffending.
  • Of the fifty participants who have been released over the past 18 months, nine have reoffended or been recalled to prison, representing an 18% reconviction rate (compared to a prison average of 48% after one year).
  • Statistically significant improvements were observed in established measures of conflict resolution, aggression, impulsivity, and attitudes towards offending following participation.
  • Qualitative interviews and testimonies illustrate the positive impact of participation on behaviour within the prison, staff-prisoner relationships and the resettlement opportunities of prisoners in managing the transition from custody to community.
  • The evaluation findings have verified that the project has facilitated a unique opportunity for delivery staff and community partners to engage with those prisoners who can be especially hard-to-reach. The initiative has enabled offenders and delivery staff to develop positive support and mentoring relationships, and has motivated individuals to take responsibility for their actions, and inspired them to generate positive aspirations for the future.
  • Despite initially being of the opinion that the resettlement component of the academy would merely replicate existing provision, members of prison staff have found the expertise of 2nd Chance an indispensable aspect of their work.
  • In providing specialist help, that is tailored to an individual’s complex needs, the through-the-gate involvement of 2nd Chance has enabled offenders to maintain positive support relationships across the critical transition from custody to community.

For more information, download the full report in our external evaluation reports