Khulisa, a small, innovative charity which exists to improve the wellbeing of the most socially excluded people in society, has won the 2018 Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Re-integration for its work at HMP Forest Bank in Manchester.

Over the last three years at HMP Forest Bank, 156 prisoners have completed Khulisa's Silence the Violence programme and received over 200 hours of post-programme one-on-one support. As a result, there has been a 90% reduction in self-reported violent tendencies and only 8% of prisoners who completed the programme have been involved in a violent incident.

The highly commended prize was awarded to Tempus Novo for its work getting prisoners into sustainable employment on release from prisons in Yorkshire. Commendations were awarded to Spark Inside for its coaching programme for prisoners at HMP Belmarsh; and to Anawim for the in-reach and through the gate services it provides to women at HMP/YOI Foston Hall.

This annual award for outstanding rehabilitative work with prisoners by a charity or community group, working in partnership with prison staff, was set up in the memory of Lord Corbett, the respected chairman of the Home Affairs Committee. For ten years, until his death in February 2012, Robin Corbett also chaired the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group, to which the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) provides the secretariat. 
The emphasis of the award is on work that fosters personal responsibility and which calls on people in prison, and ex-offenders, to take responsibility to help themselves and to help others.

The awards, kindly supported by the Worshipful Company of Weavers and the Chrysalis Programme, were presented to the winners by Lady Corbett at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group in the Houses of Parliament in the evening on Tuesday 6 March. The meeting was addressed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Rt Hon David Gauke MP.

The panel of judges included members of Robin Corbett's family, the President of the Prison Governor's Association, a Judge, the CEO of the Chrysalis Programme, the Director of the Prison Reform Trust, the Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform, a Trustee of the Prison Reform Trust, an ex-offender, and Lord Ramsbotham, a former Chief Inspector of Prisons and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Penal Affairs.

Judges were delighted be able to award a larger prize this year thanks to the generosity of the Chrysalis Programme. The first prize is raised from £3,000 to £5,000. Highly Commended which was £1,000 is now £3,000 and a new Commended prize has been added for £1,000 for each winner.

Commenting, Lady Corbett, Chair of the judges, said:

"In an exceptionally strong field, the judges were unanimous in their decision to award Khulisa the first prize for its outstanding work in behaviour change. Tempus Novo were worthy winners of the highly commended prize and we were delighted to award Spark Inside and Anawim well-deserved commendations. My husband Robin thought prison should be a chance to change the direction of a life. These charities are outstanding examples of what can be achieved by helping prisoners to help themselves."

Dominique Airey, Chief Executive of Khulisa, said:

"We are honoured to be receive this year's Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation. It is the most wonderful recognition of our work delivering intensive mentoring and behaviour-change programmes in prisons and communities across the UK, alongside our early intervention and resettlement work. We believe powerfully in every person's capacity to live healthy, crime free lives if they are given the support, supervision and rehabilitation they need. We can't thank you enough for recognising our contributions, alongside so many extraordinary partners, towards creating a more nurturing, person-centred, truly rehabilitative justice system."

Steve Freer, CEO of Tempus Novo, said:

"We are honoured to be highly commended by the Robin Corbett Award. This is a proud day indeed for all at Tempus Novo and it will further motivate us in our work to rehabilitate through sustainable employment. We now work with 40 local employers who are fast recognising the benefits to their bottom line of working with marginalised people, recruited through Tempus Novo."

Joy Doal, Director of Anawim, said: 

"We are really honoured to have received this commendation. Some of the residents at Dawn House have learnt catering skills in prison. Our hall has just been awarded a £400,000 refurbishment grant including a catering kitchen. We will use the £1,000 to purchase items to get them started."

Baillie Aaron, Founder and CEO of Spark Inside, said:

"As a fairly new charity, it means a lot to receive this prestigious commendation recognising our impact. We wouldn't be here today without our prison champions who go above and beyond to support our work. On behalf of our staff and trustees, I'd like to thank the judges for recognising the transformative power of coaching for those who live and work in prison."