YCG Pathways

Our mission is to break down the barriers to effective reintegration for prisoners on their release from custody. We do this by providing a fully managed recruitment and employment service, linking socially responsible employers with prisoners who are fully committed to their sentence planning and progression from our YCG Citizen Programme.


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Removing Barriers to Reintegration

The YCG Pathways Programme supports prisoners in overcoming the barriers faced when preparing to re‑integrate into society. Securing employment is one of the most effective strategies in reducing re‑offending. Despite this, prison leavers face the following barriers to employment on release from prison:


1 in 10 people in the UK have a criminal record which they must disclose to potential employers.


6 out of 10 employers automatically exclude those with a criminal record when making recruitment decisions.


Only 17% of prison leavers are able to secure employment within 6 months of their release from prison.

YCG's Managed Service

The YCG Pathways Programme breaks down the barriers prison leavers face in securing employment by providing a fully managed recruitment and employment service to participating establishments and sponsoring employers.

We do this by undertaking a rigorous recruitment of prisoners to the YCG Citizen Programme, where we deliver high-quality industry-specific training and qualifications. YCG Citizens receive this personalised support and development in order to secure employment with sponsoring employers on release.

The YCG Pathways Programme aims to benefit wider society by engaging with prisoners and breaking the cycle of re-offending through providing routes to secure and stable employment and accommodation.

This can only be achieved if prisoners feel they have a stake in society and this is an essential element for regime engagement, equal opportunity, establishment of best practice, and the principles of natural justice informing all decisions

Key Facts

Each year over 100,000 people walk through the prison door.

The prison population is currently just under 88,000 and projected to reach 98,700 by September 2026.

An average annual cost per prison place is £38,042.

90,000 prisoners are released from prison every year.

It costs £29,000 per annum to keep someone on benefits.

Re-offending by recent ex-prisoners cost the economy £18.1billion per annum.

As rates of recidivism are measured over a 2-year period following release, the cost of offending amounts to £1,000,000 per prisoner.

Government Support

At the recent Employment Summit hosted by Justice Secretary Dominic Rabb the Government signalled its support for a rapid expansion by businesses in the employment of prisoners and prison leavers.

The Summit identified the benefits to society of this development, with those prison leavers securing work within 6 months of release being up to 9% less likely to re-offend.

The Justice Secretary also affirmed the benefits to employers of hiring prison leavers when he stated, ‘Business owners have told me prison leavers are among the most reliable and motivated workers in their team – they have a desire to prove themselves trustworthy and they have something to lose.’


Our vision is to ensure that policy is informed by data. We will show that giving meaningful opportunities to prisoners to choose a new way of life whilst in custody will result in better outcomes for all stakeholders in society. We will provide the pathway and incentives for prisoners to upskill whilst in custody and be able to leave prison with a guaranteed offer of employment and the financial security to be able to meet their accommodation and other resettlement needs on release.

Nick Wright

Managing Director, YCG Pathways Limited