Social Design at its best with SIP winner Inhouse Records: Resettlement Fund aims to help former prisoners
some time in prison can ruin a whole life. Former prisoners have difficulties finding jobs, renting apartments and setting foot in society again. Many of them never succeed and find themselves in the downward spiral of criminality again. In 2018, Inhouse Records, a social London-based music label, was honored with the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE: The project is helping prisoners and former inmates to be trained through a non linear restorative platform; different aspects of the record label production as an overall support system after leaving prison.
a year after winning the SIP, it is time to catch up with the project designer Judah Armani. “The prize was a very helpful affirmation for me”, he says. “As a designer, it’s unfortunate when the design world doesn’t recognize an initiative that’s been ‘designed’ however in recognizing the social impact we achieved and are achieving.” Armani is happy how “iF reinforced a belief that we are on the right path and people who are aware of social impact at the highest level, are able to see our work and recognize the importance of it.”
a 73% engagement rate, meaning that if a participant chooses to engage with Inhouse Records whilst they are in prison, there is a very good chance they will continue with us on the outside too”, recalls Armani happily.
But how does that engagement look like and what helps former prisoners the most? For some, they are motivated by making music or managing artists. “The provision of writing rooms, rehearsal rooms and recording studios makes all of this possible” says Armani.
“We are planning on releasing music for public consumption and growing the label both inside and outside of prison.”
In fact, all the SIP prize money was spent on the work Inhouse Records does outside of prison, put towards a resettlement fund, which supports all the graduates in advancing in life and ensuring that they do not return to criminality and prison. This support ranges from travels to meet at regular studio sessions, to paying for deposits to secure housing, funds to provide interview clothing or for equipment to further their career opportunities.
For others, who are more entrepreneur type, engagement can look like working with one of the partners to gain business experience. “Our partners include Universal, Ernst & Young, BBC Radio and Rinse FM.” Inhouse Records even launched a new project: InHouse Studios is an opportunity for those who have left prison to teach youth at risk.
The success of the project is immense: InHouse Records operates in 4 UK Prisons, with 100+ people, and has two out of prison hubs. They are 300% oversubscribed in every jail, with a waiting list of 6 prisons and have reduced violence in prison and negative behavior by 36% and increasing positive behavior by 428%!