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Alliance of Sport welcomes MoJ report on sport in prisons

The Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime welcomes the long-awaited publication of today’s Review of Sport in Youth and Adult Prisons and is looking forward to working with our network to support its recommendations.

The Alliance of Sport was originally commissioned to produce the Review alongside CLINKS and its author, Professor Rosie Meek. While Prof. Meek focused on sport in prisons, we visited 13 community organisations in England and Wales who use sport as a tool to positively impact on people within, or on the fringes of, the criminal justice system.

Although our findings were not included in the eventual report, they contributed to the recent DCMS inquiry and have informed conversations with the Ministry of Justice, DCMS, Public Health England and Sport England about the role of Sport for Development can play in forging stronger links between custody and the community.

The 13 community organisations that participated in our review all provided clear evidence of sport’s power in the prevention and desistance from crime with young people and adults. You can read the evidence below.

Each of the organisations we visited, and countless more doing similar work across the country, represent the true ethos of Sport for Development – using sport as a tool to engage and forge positive, trusting relationships that form the basis of a high-impact solution to offending.

We commend the Review’s lead academic, Professor Rosie Meek, for the tireless work that has gone into its production and sincerely hope its findings will lead to greater awareness of the many positive effects sport and physical activity can have in the prison estate.

We also look forward to using our own research to enhance collaboration between criminal justice and community organisations so that sport plays a more effective role in supporting adults’ and young people’s desistance from crime.

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