Branson encourages Virgin Group companies to hire ex-convicts, including inmates who are working towards release:
A lot of people end up in there [prison] because they’ve had a lot of bad luck in their lives.
At the invitation of Comic Relief creator Jane Tewson, he spends a day in a maximum security facility in Melbourne and meets representatives from the Australian transport company Toll, which has employed about 460 ex-prisoners over the past decade with no known reoffences:
As soon as I got back to England, I contacted the MDs of Virgin companies and said to them that we must do the same; to try to take on as many ex-convicts as possible … For people coming out of prison it’s a vicious circle. If they can’t get a job, the only thing they can do is reoffend. From society’s point of view that can be very painful.