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Martin’s not SORI after receiving royal seal of approval

A prison chaplain at Liverpool’s HMP Altcourse has received the royal seal of approval, collecting an award for his work helping to rehabilitate prisoners from HRH the Princess Royal
G4S, Award

Reverend Martin Earl, who has been Chaplain at the G4S-run prison in Fazakerley for several years, was presented with an award from the Butler Trust, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Martin’s award recognises his work helping to rehabilitate prisoners and prevent reoffending through restorative justice, and specifically his involvement in the SORI (Supporting Offenders through Restoration Inside) programme, which he has run at HMP Altcourse since 2008.

HMP Altcourse is one of only three prisons running the SORI programme, which over the course of a week, allows 12 prisoners to examine the impact their crimes have had on their victims and their own friends and family. At the end of the week, prisoners take part in a restorative justice meeting with victims of crime, voluntary groups and members of the criminal justice system where they are able to share their experiences and to pledge how they intend to make reparations to the community on their release.

Since the programme was launched more than 150 prisoners have taken part and the resulting rates of reoffending among this group have been significantly less than the national average.

Jerry Petherick, Managing Director of G4S Custodial and Detention Services, said:

“I am delighted for Martin. This award is well-deserved and reflects the hard work and dedication he and his team have demonstrated at HMP Altcourse. The SORI course is proof positive that restorative justice programmes work and these are essential if we are to realise our ambition of reducing the high rates of reoffending.”

Martin Earl said:

“When I was told I had won the award, I was a bit embarrassed, because I have so many outstanding colleagues at the prison, who all deserve recognition. However, I’m pleased that SORI has been recognised for the brilliant work it is doing – and I would love to see it being rolled out across the whole prison estate.”

  • About HMP Altcourse
    HMP Altcourse in Liverpool was the first private finance initiative (PFI) prison to be awarded to the private sector and is operated by G4S Care and Justice Services. It is a category ‘B’ prison holding 1288 young offenders and adult males sentenced and remanded. For more information visit:
  • The Butler Trust Awards
    The Butler Trust Awards were launched in 1985 in memory of the former Home Secretary, RAB Butler. The Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement by people working in prisons, probation/community justice and youth justice settings across the UK. For more information, visit:
  • G4S Care and Justice Services
    G4S Care & Justice Services (UK) is a pioneering provider of critical services and employs more than 5,300 people to deliver a wide range of services to central and local governments and their agencies, regulatory bodies and the private sector. Its range of services includes: adult and youth custody and rehabilitation; children's services; court services and transportation; electronic monitoring; monitoring technologies, immigration detention and accommodation, transportation and support services for asylum seekers.