The Freedom Bakery is a new Glasgow-based social enterprise that gives training and employment to recently released ex-offenders.
Artisan breads and cakes are being baked and sold to the public by a group of prisoners at HMP Low Moss, near Bishopbriggs. This follows similar schemes in London and Italy, whereby offenders bake and create pastries during their sentence.
Matt Fountain, a self-taught baker, launched the initiative in an attempt to offer inmates employment, after finding himself disheartened by the high levels of reoffending in Scotland – the reconviction rate there is 64%.
Cost saving for the taxpayer
In a research paper by the Wise Group, it was calculated that every ex-offender in employment for a period of five years would save the Scottish taxpayer £940,000 per individual. And the risk of reoffending after two years in the workplace was reduced by over 90%. Reoffending in Britain costs the taxpayer £15 billion per year.
Fountain said: “We offer a range of fully-organic artisan ‘real’ bread, plus a few delicious surprises up our sleeves, which we’ve been refining for months, to take the artisan bakery distinctly into the hearts and mouths of Scotland.”
He added: “The Freedom Bakery offers fresh bread and a fresh start.”