Day One mandation of prison leavers to the Work Programme

The Work Programme is the Government's flagship welfare-to-work programme which has been in place since summer 2011. From March 2012 prison leavers have been mandated on the programme from 'day one' of release if they either claim Jobseeker's Allowance while in prison, or make a claim within thirteen weeks of release. The research, commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), evaluates the development and delivery of the Work Programme for prison leavers.

Methods:

The evaluation includes gathering evidence on four key areas: Jobcentre Plus delivery in the prisons, Work Programme provider delivery, the prison leaver experience and the employer experience. The study entails qualitative research, through interviews and observations, with: key stakeholders, individuals in custody, provider staff, prison leavers and employers. In addition, a quantitative survey is being conducted with prison leavers. The evaluation encompasses the three countries of Great Britain, and is being conducted in six Work Programme contract package areas (CPAs).

The evaluation is being undertaken by consortium of organisations: NIESR, the Centre for Social and Economic Inclusion, the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, the Institute for Employment Studies and GFK . It commenced at the start of 2012 and is due to be completed in autumn 2014.