Inmates at Leeds Prison could be given jobs as bin men under proposals being considered by Leeds City Council.
Prisoners at Armley jail who are nearing the end of their sentences could be let out on day-release to help with refuse collections in a bid to assist their transition to life on the outside.
The idea was mooted by Susan Kennedy, the new governor of the prison, during talks with officials from Safer Leeds – a partnership between the council and police.
Ms Kennedy said: “We were talking about what role the council could play with rehabilitation and I said ‘you must need bin men’. I’m setting up a waste management qualification in the prison and I thought that this could be an ideal way of providing our offenders with work experience.”
Leeds council has already run a pilot project in 2012, taking prisoners reaching the end of their sentences on placements with its environmental services teams. They cleared fly-tipped waste and litter and cut back overgrown vegetation from public paths. At the time, the council said if it was successful, the scheme could be rolled out to other council services.
Coun Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds, said the authority is still keen on expanding the pilot, but stressed there is “significant work to be done to assess all the options and implications.”
“Bridging the gap between prison and getting into employment on release is a key component of the work being done across the city to help break the cycle of re-offending,” he said. “Employers – including the council - offering work experience with close supervision can give those nearing the end of their sentences the motivation and confidence they need to turn their lives around and divert them from further criminality.” WOULD YOU BE HAPPY TO SEE INMATES COLLECTING YOU BINS? Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you sentences the motivation and confidence they need to turn their lives around and divert them from further criminality.