Premier League clubs are to work with prisons on a new project aimed at reducing reoffending and promoting rehabilitation.
Clubs will offer coaching and refereeing courses to prisoners in order to establish alternate pathways to eventual employment.
The scheme, called the Twinning Project, was launched by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein and is backed by the government as well as the sport's leading bodies in the U.K.
Ian Wright & David Dein launch the Twinning Project at Wembley seeking to pair @premierleague & @EFL clubs with prisons to tackle re-offending rates of 63.8% (adults) 41.6% (juveniles) within a year of release. Clubs will offer coaching/refereeing qualifications to inmates. pic.twitter.com/Of4YK5CrVk— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) October 31, 2018
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said the project will help change prisioners' lives when they are released back into society.
"Our clubs have an excellent track record of delivering for communities through participation and social inclusion," Scudamore said.
"Many of them operate projects in conjunction with their local prisons, using football and the popularity of their club to inspire people to improve their lives."
The project aims to have at least 20 Premier League and English Football League clubs signed up by the end of 2018.