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Greener on the Outside for Prisons

This pan-regional programme will provide a coherent, holistic and joined-up approach to improving the health and wellbeing of offenders, their families, H.M.

Prison Service staff and local communities within the North West of England. Forming part of the Target Wellbeing Portfolio, managed by Groundwork UK and funded by Big Lottery’s Wellbeing2 Programme will deliver a range of integrated strategic environmental initiatives that will improve wellbeing and quality of life, reduce health inequalities and have a positive impact on the drive to reduce re-offending.

It is intended to build capacity, add value to existing provision and develop new capacity where it does not exist.

It is being evaluated to ensure the generation and transfer of knowledge of ‘what works’ in key areas of health and justice notably, offender rehabilitation, resettlement and well-being.


The aim of the programme is to:

  • Reduce inequalities and achieve sustainable improvements in health, wellbeing and learning outcomes for offenders and their families, with a particular focus on mental health, physical activity and healthier eating.

In order to meet these aims, the programme will work towards the following objectives:

  • Provide opportunities to increase physical activity levels through practical activities
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of food and the food growing process
  • Increase measures to build competence and encourage learning, training and employment
  • Build capacity to increase health literacy
  • Address the poor lifetime employability prospects of those with few qualifications and skills
  • Build social and interpersonal skills and competence to maintain family relationships
  • Promote models of good citizenship for all participants for their future roles in society
  • Develop collective, collaborative and sustainable approaches to delivery.

The programme is working with most of the North West prisons and developing partnerships with Probation particularly the ACHIEVE project and Approved Premises. This enables the programme to be developed in an integrated way and to explore the value of explicitly working across the whole offender system. Thus, the programme seeks to work across the whole ‘offender pathway’ – taking a ‘whole system approach’ and working not only with prisoners, but also with staff, families, ex-offenders and wider communities (including those at risk of offending).

Reflecting guidance from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), this approach acknowledges that prisoners’ health cannot be addressed in isolation from the health of the general population since there is a constant interchange between prison and the broader community.

Lead investigator

Dr Michelle Baybutt


  • Public Sector Prisons North West
  • Forestry Commission
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Trust for Conservation Volunteers
  • Manchester City College
  • Groundwork UK


2013 - [ongoing]

Funding organisation

  • Big Lottery Wellbeing 2 Programme
  • Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service