Greene King and Pret A Manger are hundreds of businesses that could see more opportunities open up to employ offenders, as part of efforts to rehabilitate them pre-release.

Both have signed up to the Ministry of Justice’s New Futures Network, following the launch of the prisons Education and Employment Strategy this time last year.

Yesterday new rules were announced to allow prison governors greater autonomy to grant Release on Temporary Licence to offenders – following a rigorous risk assessment – which will allow them more opportunities to work and train with employers while serving their sentence and increase their chances of securing a job on release.

Greene King has committed to employing 50 offenders by the end of 2019, working with prisons in the North West and London.

Greg Sage, communications director at Greene King, commented: “We’ve started working with ex-offenders and people coming towards the end of their sentence because it allows us to secure a pipeline of talent coming into our business, at the same time as helping people start again as they leave prison.”

The New Futures Network launched in October 2018 as a new specialist part of the prison service, in order to build partnerships between prisons and employers.