How we made it: How InHouse Records is rebuilding the lives of people inside and outside of prison

How we made it: How InHouse Records is rebuilding the lives of people inside and outside of prison through music

The NatWest SE100 Awards earlier this year went to seven of the UK’s most innovative pioneers in the social enterprise space. But what is the story behind their successes? In our new 'How we made it' film series, we explore the journey of each winner – and discover just how they have made it to the top of their game.

New entry to the SE100 and sweeping up the Trailblazing Newcomer award this year was InHouse Records, a record label focusing on the rehabilitation of offenders both inside and outside of prison.

Reserve your place now for 2020’s NatWest SE100 Index and Social Business Awards – highlighting inspirational leadership and innovation across UK social enterprise.

Expect more networking opportunities, inspirational social enterprise stories and powerful speakers than ever before for our very special tenth anniversary celebration.


Rennel grew up surrounded by music, and so when he came across InHouse Records while serving time in prison for drug offences, it struck a chord. 

Work options available in prisons are, more often than not, mundane and repetitive, and rarely lead to resettlement on the outside. The reoffending rate is currently at 64% – and with 86,000 people in UK prisons, it’s costing the government £15bn a year. 

“Music has allowed me to vent a lot of frustration, anger and anxiety. It’s let me reset.” - Rennel, InHouse Records graduate

InHouse Records operates in seven UK prisons, funded by these individual prisons for a year-long programme. The label runs workshops with more than 100 men at any given time, and uses unstructured learning to teach many of the skills associated with running a record label, from songwriting and management, to recording and producing. 

Since launching in 2017, InHouse Records has seen a decrease in negative behaviour in prisons by at least 36% and since its first graduate was released in April 2018, none of them have reoffended. 

Like Rennel, many of the graduates continue their involvement with InHouse Records after their release, whether it’s helping to develop the label through marketing and events, or work experience with its partners EY and Universal, as well as taking part in regular performances both inside and outside prison. 

WATCH ABOVE to learn about Rennel’s journey and find out why InHouse Records is leading the way for newcomers in social enterprise. 

Producer: Sasha Gallick. Videographer: David Pardoe.

Next up in the series: Why ECT is taking the wheel when it comes to measuring social value in the community transport sector.