TERRY ELLIS – Swapping a life of crime to going straight

Jul 17, 2019

Picture – Martin Godwin for the Guardian

HACRO have been searching for inspirational stories and found Terry Ellis’s story. Terry Ellis set up a business to help others leaving jail, very inspirational story:

By Matilda Munro https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/09/criminals-hmp-grendon-serial-offender-therapy-terry-ellis


A stint at the UK’s only therapeutic prison, Grendon, put this criminal in touch with his feelings. It’s allowed him to set up a business to help others leaving jail.

On release from Spring Hill prison last January, Terry Ellis was given a small blue tent to live in. “They actually said, as long as you give us the postcode of the bench you’re going to stay on tonight, that’s all your probation officer needs.”

It was the third time Ellis had been behind bars. After serving eight and a half years of a 16-year sentence for robbery, at the age of 53 Ellis had spent half his adult life in prison. He understood as well as anyone the revolving door of homelessness, joblessness and incarceration. “Survival kicks in. You’re going to go back to the thing you know. You’re going to go back to selling drugs, you’re going to go back to breaking into gaffs.”

But this time the old ways haven’t kicked in for him. Instead he is establishing a social enterprise which he hopes will generate funds to provide other ex-cons leaving prison with a rent deposit scheme instead of a tent.

Ellis is extraordinarily open, articulate and warm – unexpected qualities, perhaps, in a career criminal, but ones he puts down to a life-changing decision he made early in his last sentence.

Please click on link to read more of Terry’s story:


Please see HACRO’s getting ex-offenders into work:  https://hacro.org.uk/getting-ex-offenders-into-work/