The Clink Charity has launched its third restaurant, housed within the walls of HMP Brixton.
Open to visitors tomorrow (Thursday) it will serve lunch Monday to Friday prepared and served by prisoners who are being educated in hospitality.
Set in what was originally the governor's house, which was built in 1819, the 100 cover restaurant includes four meeting rooms which guarantee full attendee concentration since mobiles must be surrendered on entry to the prison.
Speaking at the restaurant's official opening, Clink chief executive Chris Moore said that over 100 former prisoners had been trained through the Clink's other two restaurants, in HMP High Down and HMP Cardiff, with only six reoffending. This compares to a reoffending rate of 47% in the rest on the UK.
Moore added: "The launch of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton is testament to the ongoing success of the charity and its positive influence on the national rehabilitation of prisoners. Through the use of The Clink's five step model of recruitment, training, auditing, employment and mentoring, we are contributing to the reduction in prisoner reoffending in the UK."
The Clink at Brixton will educate 28 prisoners at a time in front of house and cheffing skills. Once they are releases they will be mentored and supported in their search for employment within the hospitality industry.
Chef Cyrus Todiwala, who is chef ambassador of The Clink Brixton, told guests at the opening that the charity delivered highly trained and supported employees to the industry. "From an industry perspective it is an initiative that is full circle," he said. "It takes care of the training process beyond these walls and into the workplace."
Prisons minister Jeremy Wright added: "We know that one of the keys to tackling our sky high reoffending rates is equipping offenders with the skills and work ethic they need to help them find a job on release.
"The Clink is an excellent example of this and I am genuinely impressed by the standard of the work and the results I've seen so far.
"Encouraging meaningful work and training in prisons will help offenders address the issues that led to their imprisonment in the first place so they can turn their lives around for good - reducing reoffending and preventing so many needless victims of crime."
To reserve a table at the restaurant potential diners must complete a booking enquiry form and await a response from the reservations team.