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Our Story

Our story began when the two co-founders started working together in HMP&YOI Ashfield. James Mapstone managed the Physical Education Department and Justin Coleman worked across many roles supporting the development and resettlement of young people.

James developed a Sport Academy within the prison and in 2008 he founded 2nd Chance Project CIC to provide more support for young people leaving custody. In 2009, James expanded the project to HMYOI Portland as part of the Sky One series ‘Football Behind Bars’ starring football legend Ian Wright. This is when Justin joined the team and as they say… the rest is history.

After building a robust evidence base which included independent evaluation reports led by academics including Professor Rosie Meek and Professor Andrew Parker, they approached the government to seek further support. It was then, in 2015 they recognised a gap in the knowledge, leadership and coordination across government that prohibited the role of sport and physical activity from playing a greater role in the reduction of crime and reoffending.

With support from Comic Relief, Ministry of Justice, the Youth Justice Board and the then, National Offender Management Service, the Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime was born as a project. It convened key stakeholders across government, sport, criminal justice, academia, business and the third sector and started providing a central coordination role and support for other organisations working in the sector.

After a positive start which included lobbying for and managing the Independent Review of Sport in Youth and Adult Prisons, the key stakeholders agreed that the Alliance should secure its place in the sector by becoming its own entity.

After seeking legal advice and with further support from Comic Relief, the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice was launched as a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2019 and both James and Justin transferred across into the new organisation as 2nd Chance stopped trading and closed shortly after.