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“On a mission to effect global social justice change. Founder & CEO of Spark Inside, bringing coaching into prisons to reduce violence and reoffending.”
Baillie Aaron is a social entrepreneur, systems thinker and visionary leader with the ambition to effect global social justice change. She is Founder and CEO of Spark Inside, an award-winning UK charity bringing coaching into prisons, proven to reduce violence and reoffending. Spark Inside has coached over 1,000 prisoners and prison staff, and is now developing a licensing model to scale internationally. In addition, Baillie is the co-curator of the Global Shapers London Hub and on the Advisory Board of Code4000, teaching coding in prisons. She graduated from Harvard and Cambridge universities, and is a JA Boston Business Hall of Fame inductee, Global Good Fund fellow and TEDx speaker. Previously, Baillie founded the US non-profit Venturing Out, providing entrepreneurship education to people in prison.
In her speech at the House of Commons, Baillie set out an articulate, well-evidenced and passionate argument for why we need to overhaul our prison system. Although £2.2 billion is spent every year to run UK prisons, they are failing to reduce reoffending: nearly half of adults leaving prison will reoffend within two years. This is an issue that affects all of us: 99.9% of people leaving prison will return back to our communities, and more children are affected by imprisonment than by divorce each year. To effectively reduce crime and reoffending, we need to look beyond incremental improvements to our prisons, and instead replace the entire failing system. For example, community-based, restorative justice solutions are proven to be cheaper and more effective at reducing reoffending.
Spark Inside is working towards its vision of a world without prisons, whilst delivering coaching programmes in prisons across London and the South East. The charity is actively looking for corporate and individual champions to support, endorse and join it on its journey toward a safer society for us all.