Brixton Prison inmates set to run restaurant as part of plan to reduce reoffending


This is the third restaurant to be opened by The Clink Charity.


By Douglas Patient

Inmates at Brixton Prison will run a 100-seat restaurant next year in partnership with a charity aiming to reduce reoffending rates.

It is the third restaurant to be opened by The Clink Charity, with Cardiff and High Down in Surrey already running. Last year these restaurants welcomed 15,000 guests between them.

The concept of Clink was devised by Alberto Crisci in 2009 and is used to educate prisoners and equip them with the skills and tools to secure employment upon their release. They feel there is a clear link between unemployment and increased rates of reoffending.

“Brixton was the perfect site for our next restaurant,” said Chris Moore, Chief Executive of the charity.

Last year the charity agreed a partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service who are set to open a further seven Clink Restaurants over the next four years. The old Governor’s House at the 1819 Brixton Prison will be developed into the restaurant.

Account Director of Custard Communications, Felicity Allen, who works in partnership with Clink, said: “When we entered into discussion with HMP Brixton, it became apparent there was a suitable building that could be stripped out and would be ideal for The Clink training restaurant, ensuring costs could be kept at a minimum.”

In 2010 only 14 percent of graduates reoffended. This dropped to 12.5 percent in 2011 and of last year’s ointake only one out of the 88 prisoners they trained has reoffended.

Michael, 26, was a graduate from The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down. He was released from prison in August 2012 and is now working at a Thistle Hotel in London, within the meetings and events team.

“Michael has become a valuable member of staff, working full-time, having impressed the hotel manager with his dedication, time-keeping and immaculate presentation,” said Ms Allen.

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said: “We know reoffending rates are unacceptably high and it’s through projects like this that we can help them build a strong work ethic that will ultimately enable them to turn their backs on crime.”

Brixton Prison last year hosted celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, who helped inmates set up the Bad Boys Bakery as part of a television series. The bakery is currently supplying cakes to national coffee chains.

Photo courtsey of psyxjaw, with thanks.

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