Providing access to banking for people in prison before release is one of the foundations of successful resettlement and provides a positive contribution towards reducing re-offending. For the majority of people in prison, the aspiration of opening a basic bank account before release was, before this project began in 2005, unachievable. In many cases, prisons were unable to engage with local branches of banks, leading to frustration and wasted resources on both sides.
This report is designed to summarise and reflect on the progress that has been made to date in enabling prisoners to open basic bank accounts, as well as outline some of the key priority areas moving forward. The main focus of the report is on the latter part of the project, which was the national campaign which ran from 2010 to 2014.