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Prisoners Building Homes Programme

The Prisoners Building Homes (PBH) Programme is led by the five South West Police and Crime Commissioners under the auspices of the South West Reducing Reoffending Partnership (with representatives from HM Prison and Probation Service, Ministry of Justice, the Police, NHS England, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Youth Justice Board, Department of Work & Pensions, South West Councils, and the Voluntary Sector).  The Programme is also supported by One Public Estate, which is a partnership between the Office of Government Property in the Cabinet Office, the Local Government Association and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

It was set up to enable prisoners to be employed and trained by modular housing providers to build low carbon, modular homes for local communities and vulnerable people.  It provides an opportunity to reduce reoffending by ensuring prisoners have the skills they need to help secure employment upon their release.

In March 2021 the Programme delivered a proof of concept home on a Torbay Council owned site, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  This home was constructed by prisoners at a prison workshop at HMP Leyhill and assembled on site with the assistance of a Probation client. 

Following the success of this pilot, the Programme was awarded One Public Estate funding to develop a framework which enables public sector organisations to easily access high quality, low carbon modular homes constructed and assembled by prisoners and ex-offenders.  An  experienced specialised programme manager works with the PBH accredited modular housing providers to provide an end-to-end development service, driving projects forward to deliver much needed affordable new homes at pace for the benefit of local communities, whilst providing meaningful and productive work and nationally accredited training to upskill serving prisoners enabling them to secure job opportunities post release. It also produces public sector cost and social value savings. 

By the end of 2023 the ambition is to have over 40 serving/recently released prisoners in full time employment either through day release/post-release opportunities; and another 40 prisoners employed by opening disused prison workshops.  Nine prisons across the country will benefit from the programme, with plans under way to involve more. 

There are 7 housing providers on the framework (with another 3 expected to be accredited by early 2024 and plans to expand further).

The Programme is currently delivering 82 homes across 14 sites (with further pipeline sites under review).  This is in addition to the 100s of homes the housing providers on the framework are delivering separately, all made by prisoners. 

The Programme won a prestigious national Government Property Award (2023) for innovative collaboration for bringing together public and private sector partners to unlock land and deliver affordable, high-quality, low carbon, sustainable modular homes nationally; while creating job opportunities for serving prisoners and prison leavers to enable them to turn their lives around and reduce the cycle of reoffending. 

Find out more by watching this video.

The Public Sector Client Handbook explains the Programme in more detail.

Learn more about the Government Property Award Prisoners Building Homes scheme wins prestigious award

Other quotes/accolades Quotes and accolades

For more information on the Programme please email Sophie Baker at sophie.baker@dc-pcc.gov.uk