From education to employment

New charity Rebooted will help prisoners access basic online services

man standing against a wall

A Cambridge team that helps prisoners learn IT skills is starting a new charity to provide renovated laptops to the families of inmates.

The new charity, Rebooted, will also provide digital training and unlock new opportunities in a bid to break the cycle of incarceration that affects vulnerable families.

The charity is the brainchild of James Tweed, whose company Coracle already provides access to digital training to prisoners.

The announcement comes as an inspector report into Peterborough prison that found a third of men released from there in the last year were made homeless because they didn’t have access to housing support.

According to the report, a housing adviser failed to visit the site for more than a year and 333 prisoners were released homeless in the year to January.

James Tweed, founder and CEO of Coracle, said such failures are largely avoidable if prisoners could gain access to basic online services.

“The Peterborough report shows the desperate need among prisoners for both digital education and the tools and skills needed to access basic online services,” Tweed said.

“There might be some really good support for finding accommodation, for example, online. But if you have no way to get online or no digital skills, you’re at a disadvantage.

“Basic digital literacy can prevent all sorts of negative outcomes. Prisoners becoming homeless on day one is just ridiculous and inevitably leads to more crime.”

With Rebooted, Tweed hopes to go further, equipping not just prisoners but also their children with access to digital training and equipment.

“Rebooted will equip children of prison learners with pre-loaded digital devices to support their learning. This will unlock new passions and interests, and find new connections to their parents by accessing and completing the same learning content at the same time.

“The charity will aim to create new partnerships between organisations and departments within the prison service, the parole service and social care.

“We will work with grassroots charities, food banks, and local services that support families with a parent in prison.”

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