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Inside the walls of HMP High Down, gourmet food is being prepared and served.

Inside the walls of HMP High Down, gourmet food is being prepared and served.

For the past 12 years, Chef Alberto Crisci has produced 3000 meals each day at the Surrey prison, on a meagre budget of just £1.68 per person, per day.  And now, following four years of planning and an investment of over £550,000, he will be responsible for training prisoners to high levels of culinary skill (City & Guilds NVQ 1, NVQ 2, NVQ 3 and A1 Assessor Grade) that will equal any external British college, serving staff, visitors and commercial customers in The Clink, Britain’s first commercial in-prison restaurant.

‘‘THE CLINK can, and will, change the public’s perception to prisoners. I want The Clink to be the sound of chains being broken for men who want, and have worked hard to deserve, a second chance at life.” (Chef Crisci)

I think this is one if the forerunners in innovation around resettlement in the UK at the moment.  Not only does the restaurant offer the chance to gain qualifications, develop on the job experience, and gain confidence in interacting with a range of clients; it starts to break down one of the main barriers to an ex-prisoners’ successful resettlement – stigma and prejudice.

More of this please!

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