Inside Job finds jobs for people while they are serving their sentences. We identify the best candidates by using talented, motivated and well respected prisoners – our “Insiders”

Inside Job was launched in September 2019. It is an UpStart business.

The need for employment post prison

Lack of work:
Fewer than 20% of people find work when they leave prison.

Around 70,000 people are released each year, that’s 56,000 jobless people, who are all half as likely to reoffend if they have a job.

Jonathan (our Insider):
Inside Job was the idea of a serving prisoner on an UpStart

programme. Knowing talented people who really wanted to work but who didn’t believe anyone would employ them he saw both need and opportunity.

We wanted to support him. We also realised Insiders are best placed to identify people who genuinely want to contribute and work, because they have a well-developed “sniff test”.

We realised that many people serving sentences do not trust

official agencies to help them. BUT they trust Insiders, because they have shared experience and understand how important it is to talk straight and not let people down.

Bally (our Outsider)
In the 2020 lockdown, as we headed into recession, we realised

Inside Job would find it much harder to find work for candidates. So we hired a recruitment professional, with 20 years experience, to work alongside Jonathan, finding employers who want to have social impact and improve our society.

How Inside Job works:

a focused, professional, free service for employers.

What Inside Job achieves:

for employers, candidates and prisons


Best case, a job: worst case, hope.

All candidates who work with Inside Job get a good CV, Disclosure Letter and interview practice with a professional recruiter. Some get interviews, job offers and work post release. All of our candidates develop a greater awareness of their employability and become more motivated to look for work. That gives them hope.


Better Resettlement Outcomes

Inside Job only works where it has intimate knowledge and good relationships with the prison already because it is running Choirs Beating Time in the establishment on a continuous basis. We are a small scale but highly effective employment intervention. We supplement, rather than duplicate, existing resettlement initiatives in the prisons we work in.


Loyal, resilient employees

Employers who give people a second chance know those individuals are often their most loyal and hardest working employees. Inside Job’s candidates have the same skills, experience and attitude employers want from the rest of their work force. We are not asking for special treatment or a lowering of standards. Our candidates will inject greater resilience and diversity into any team.

Inside Job gives employers an efficient, professional, no fee, recruitment process.


Inside Job identifies people who have proven themselves by contributing to their prison community. People who are determined to be of use. Our candidates are often “Listeners” (Samaritans in prison, a vital peer service), literacy mentors for Shannon Trust (where literate prisoners teach illiterate prisoners to read 1-2-1), they run the prison Gyms and Libraries, advocate on the Prison Council, are doing degrees or making music and art to improve the atmosphere for all who work, live and visit their prison. Some even win Awards!

This is Sally, our Midlands Manager, picking up Jonathan’s High Sheriffs award for “Great and Good Services to the Community”, from Michael Kuo.


Reduce Crime, Rebuild Families and Save the Taxpayer Money

By recruiting with Inside Job you are helping to stop the vicious cycle of reoffending. Reoffending rates are nearly 50%, having a job halves that. If you employ an imprisoned parent, you will be sending a working parent back to a family. You’ll be creating a role model for some of the 320,000 children with a parent in prison in the UK and helping lift them out of poverty.

Our Employers

Success Stories

Click below to read all an example of an Inside Job success story.

How Inside Job reduces reoffending

We know what to do to stop the cycle of reoffending because the Ministry of Justice has done the research…

It has identified key factors which impact recidivism – addiction recovery (not part of our work) and 7 others. Three are obvious, external and tangible: housing, family and work. In other words, somewhere to live, someone to love and something to do…

Four are internal and intangible – but every bit as important: having hope and being motivated to change, knowing other people believe in you, being given the opportunity to contribute and having an identity not based on criminality. In other words, I know who I am, that I can, that you believe I can and that you’ll let me try…

Beating Time hits these four factors hard.

Choirs Beating Time enables prisoners to hang onto their mental health and be a recognisable version of themselves. All our programmes reinforce non-criminal identity, whether as singers, songwriters, performers, entrepreneurs, workers or parents. The people we work with know we believe in them, because we invest in them creatively, emotionally, and financially. We create the opportunity for them to contribute, on lots of levels: to their prison community as performers, to their families at our Family Days, to the workforce, through Inside Job and as Entrepreneurs, through UpStart. By retaining a sense of self and creating opportunities we generate hope and motivation.