Wrexham jail ‘binmates’ working for council recycling chiefs

Source: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/wrexham-jail-binmates-working-council-13238996

Prisoners assembled 3,500 recycling wheelie boxes which will be distributed around homes in the county borough

Prisoners at HMP Berwyn have just delivered their first order of wheelie boxes to Wrexham Council.

Inmates assembled 3,500 of the recycling containers after a £116,000 grant from Welsh Government to encourage more residents to go green.

It is not clear how much money the prison was paid for supplying its workforce but both the council and prison bosses want more of the same.

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The new boxes will be shared out after the authority recorded its best ever recycling result of 68%.

Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said: “This work was carried out on a partnership working basis between ourselves and HMP Berwyn, to provide the men with the opportunity for serious, rehabilitative work.

“We intend to continue a strong working relationship with HMP Berwyn and hope we can help them with similar opportunities in future.”

The £116,000 in funding from the Welsh Government was part of its Collaborative Change programme.

“This funding has enabled the purchase of more recycling trolleys that proved so popular last year when we distributed 13,000 across the County Borough, helping us to reach 68% recycling – our highest ever figure,” added Cllr Bithell.

Nick Dann, deputy project director said the men inside HMP Berwyn needed meaningful work.

He said: “We have welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with Wrexham Council – the development of good relationships across North Wales is extremely important to us at Berwyn.

“Meaningful work opportunities for our men within Berwyn and upon release are vital to their rehabilitation.”

The new £212m jail will eventually house around 2,100 men in three wings – the largest in the UK.

Russ Trent, governor, has previously said the facility will give inmates “every opportunity” to turn their lives around.

The jail boasts wall art, showers and phones in the prisoners’ rooms which can only be used under strict conditions and when earned as a privilege, plus a college style facility to learn new skills including joinery, carpentry and brick-laying.

There gyms, five-a-side pitches, a library and a visiting room with play area for children.

The majority of inmates at HMP Berwyn are Category C, those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but are unlikely to try to escape.

However, the facility may take some Category B prisoners, who would pose a large risk to members of the community.