The U.Okay.’s new left-leaning Labour authorities is seeking to the enterprise world to sort out a rising drawback within the prison sector. And the person they wish to lead that restoration is the boss of Timpson, an organization well-known for hiring ex-offenders.

James Timpson runs the nationwide chain that cuts keys, repairs sneakers, and performs dry cleansing and laundry companies. He has been appointed Minister of State for Prisons, Parole and Probation underneath Sir Keir Starmer’s new authorities.

Timpson’s prison coverage

It’s common for patrons at these shops, which pop up throughout U.Okay. excessive streets, buying facilities, and grocery store automobile parks, to be served by a former inmate. 

Timpson, CEO since 2002 and works alongside his father, John, launched the corporate’s coverage of hiring ex-offenders. 

This observe reportedly began after Timpson visited a prison the identical yr he took the highest job. Timpson met a young inmate named Matt and was so impressed that he supplied him a job.

Matt has since change into considered one of Timpson’s most profitable department managers, the CEO mentioned.

Timpson now employs greater than 600 “prison leavers,” which make up round 10% of the corporate’s employees. The CEO was additionally chair of the Prison Reform Belief till his appointment as prisons minister.

If Timpson can unfold a little bit of his magic mud on the function, it might be a boon for the U.Okay.’s prison system, to not point out the broader U.Okay. social material and public funds. 

U.Okay. Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer mentioned he employed Timpson for the function as a result of he “walks the walk.” However he’ll must display that know-how shortly, with prison governors warning that jails are operating out of area.

Having been vocal in his strategy to rehabilitation, Timpson could also be probably the most progressive ministers ever serving within the function.

Speaking to Channel 4 earlier this yr, Timpson mentioned the U.Okay. justice system was “addicted to punishment,” including that solely a 3rd of present inmates ought to “definitely” be in prison.

The U.Okay.’s re-offending rates have fallen over the past decade however nonetheless stand at round 25%. Unemployment and monetary issues, in addition to homelessness and psychological well being points, 

Timpson says the retention charge for his colleagues who have been recruited from prison or have a prison conviction is 75%, suggesting a low degree of reoffending. 

Meet the Timpsons

Timpson and his household had been reported to be price £210 million ($269 million) in 2019, in keeping with the Sunday Times Rich List

His grandfather and founding father of Timpson, William, was ousted from the company in 1973 after EDS Group acquired the corporate. James’s father, John, turned managing director of the corporate in 1975 and would go on to steer a £42 million administration buyout of the agency in 1982.

The corporate, which stays wholly owned by Timpson and his household, 

The household paid themselves the largest dividend in years in March price £16.6 million ($21.3 million) after an enormous soar in turnover.

His dad and mom shared Timpson’s sense of public responsibility. John and his spouse, Alex adopted two of their 5 kids and, over 31 years, offered foster care to 90 different kids.

Alex Timpson obtained an MBA in 2006 for companies to kids and households. John was knighted for his companies in 2017, after his spouse handed away.