Who Are We

Our vision is for a connected, safe society where people choose crime-free lives

Inspired by our South African sister charity (founded in 1997), Khulisa means ‘to nurture’ in Zulu. We have been working in the UK for over 10 years, making prisons and schools safer and more nurturing environments, and transforming the lives of over 3000 people, empowering them to choose a crime-free life.

Khulisa recognises that many offenders have been victims of crime themselves: they are often victims of abuse or neglect and it is these traumatic incidents which are the root cause of their disruptive behaviour and these experiences which fuel their isolation from society.  Their lives have followed a devastating pattern of social disadvantage, exclusion and crime and this cycle sweeps whole generations of people into a life they didn’t choose.

To break this negative cycle, Khulisa prioritises working with young people who display challenging behaviour and children who are at-risk of social exclusion.  We do this because we know that a child who is socially excluded is more likely to commit crime in later life.  Pupils who are excluded from school are 4 times more likely to go to prison and the most common cause for school exclusion is ‘disruptive behaviour’.  Such early examples of challenging behaviour can often be symptomatic of a young person’s complex needs which often stay un-diagnosed and remain with them throughout their lives.

Whilst serving their sentence and upon release from prison, offenders will often experience further disadvantage and social exclusion as a result of their conviction, this is often referred to as a ‘second sentence’.

The 'Second Sentence'

  • Suicide rates are 10 times higher in custody than amongst the general population with 1 suicide every 3 days in UK prisons
  • 1 in 5 employers say they would exclude an offender from any recruitment process.
  • A third of people in prison do not have a bank account
  • Ex-prisoners are 10 times more likely to borrow money from a loan shark than the average UK household
  • More than 1 in 10 offenders find themselves without a home to go to upon release (this is more than 3 in 10 for young offenders)

Khulisa works to break the cycle of exclusion and crime by intervening at every stage of the criminal justice sector. We nurture those who have been socially excluded; we equip people with the skills and the strength to choose alternatives to violence and crime. We provide an opportunity for young people to feel safe and in doing so, we enable them and their communities to truly thrive and flourish.

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