InHouse Records

InHouse Records

Fund manager - Nesta

InHouse Records is the world's first fully functional record label launched in prison.

  • 2500 Number of prisoners that see the InHouse Records magazine every week
  • 428% Increase in positive behaviour reported in prisoners working with InHouse records
  • 80% Percentage of prisoners still engaging with the record label after release


Many ex-offenders are reconvicted within one year of release. Research shows that many prisoners view ‘having a job’ as important in preventing them reoffending, but finding employment can be difficult for many, particularly those who were unemployed before their conviction. ​


InHouse Records is the world's first fully functional record label launched in prison. Its award-winning work engages hard-to-reach people, both in prisons and after release, through music-based training programmes for prisoners and ex-offenders. It focuses on using music to build core competencies and employability skills, with a long-term goal of helping graduates lead empowered, fulfilling, crime-free lives, and ultimately reducing re-offending. InHouse Records requested an unsecured loan of £77,000 from Nesta's Cultural Impact Development Fund, part of the Growth Fund, a blended fund of £26.3 million of investment from Big Society Capital alongside £22.5 million in grants from the National Lottery Community Fund. The investment was use to establish partnerships with Pirate Studios (a nationwide network of self-service music studios) Caroline International (a division of Universal Music Group) and Sony Publishing.


The studios will allow InHouse to grow its through-the-gate work by providing safe spaces for graduates of its in-prison programme to continue their path towards rehabilitation and to record music under the InHouse label. InHouse’s relationships with Caroline/Universal and Sony Publishing will provide further opportunities for its users to progress personally, professionally, and musically, either as record label apprentices or as signed artists on the label. Through these increased opportunities in the music industry, InHouse will be able to further support its graduates’ ambitions and help them live meaningful lives on the outside.

As part of the investment process, InHouse received one-to-one support to develop the way it monitors and evaluates the impact of its work. While it had already embedded systems for collecting regular evaluation data, working together with Nesta’s Cultural Impact Development Fund has helped InHouse begin to take this to the next level. InHouse also received support to identify the wider evidence base on the effectiveness of music-based interventions in the criminal justice sector. This allowed it to flesh out its theory of change and articulate more clearly how its work will contribute to its long-term goal of reducing re-offending.