PROLIFIC offenders are being offered the chance to turn their lives around by drawing from the experiences of a reformed hardened criminal.

Jodie Hind, who was once dubbed a one-man-crimewave by police, spent several years behind bars after receiving 20 convictions for 87 crimes.

However, after turning his back on his criminal past, the former drug addict and alcoholic decided he needed to accept his role in society and start paying back for his misdemeanours.

Using his vast experience of the criminal justice system he is now regularly back behind bars – but these days he is helping registered presistent and priority offenders break their cycle of crime.

He said: “When I was committing my offences I was blaming everyone around. I was blaming my addictions or I was blaming the fact I had a criminal record for my behaviour.

“However, once I realised it was me that was the problem, I was able to do something about it.

“I was given a lot of support when I was released from prison, which has helped me completely turn my life around and start giving something back to society.

“Hopefully, with the work I’m doing in the prison, I will be able to help others stay out of jail.”

The 33-year-old, of Stockton, who now works for the Five Lamps charity and holds workshops in Holme House Prison, holds regular workshops with a small group of inmates.

Andy Monaghan, a former drug user who is serving time for burgling a derelict building, is determined to turn his life around once he has completed his latest 29-month sentence.

The 29-year-old said: “I have been in and out of prison for years – it is just like a big circle.

The last time I got out here I was clean from illegal drugs but started taking sleeping tablets and I can’t even remember doing the burglary I’m serving time for.

“The sessions with Jodie have been inspirational and I have decided that enough is enough and I’m not coming back to prison. I have said it before and let everybody down, but this time I actually believe it myself.”

Another inmate who is registered as a persistent and priority offender by Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust, David Simpson, of Billingham, said: “Talking to someone who has been through the same things as you, and has got out of the other end of the tunnel, is worth listening to.

“He shows you can become a better person, so why can’t I do it?”