The prison population in the UK has doubled over the last 20 years to over 85,000. Of this number, around 20,000 are aged under 21. Many prisoners are caught in a cycle of re-offending and lack any hope or real prospects away from a life of crime. Reflex Programmes exist to empower children, young people and young adults to break the cycle of offending and reoffending.

Sadly 7 out of 10 young people released from prison reoffend within one year, thereby getting caught up in a cycle of offending and reoffending. Hindered by their criminal record, young prison leavers must work to convince others to trust them and give them a second chance.

The myth propagated by certain sections of the media that prisons are like ‘holiday camps’ deflects from the horrific reality of despair for so many of those incarcerated. Many are fighting inner battles too, such as insecurities and destructive habits. They often lack the most basic life skills and have no one to turn to for support and positive advice. Behind these statistics lies individual human lives created, loved and cherished by God.

These young people need someone to turn to in prison who loves them unconditionally like Jesus, who’ll take the time to listen and believe in them, since they’ve often stopped believing in themselves. The overall vision of Reflex Programmes is to resource, support and connect “Reflex Outreach” in every prison in Britain and to link every prison leaver with a Christian community/local church.

Reflex Outreach Workers seek to be both salt and light within the prisons they are based in – changing and preserving the prison culture and atmosphere for the good and being the light in the darkness. They encourage, motivate and challenge young people to raise their aspirations and achieve ambitious goals, urging them to broaden their hopes for the future, dream big dreams and realise their full potential.

If you’d like to pray for this work, volunteer, or find out more about ministering to those at risk of offending – simply contact us at rob.mcgibbon@yfc.co.uk.