Nile Rodgers has called on businesses to give job opportunities to ex-offenders.
The Chic frontman said employment would give people coming out of prison an identity and sense of purpose as he backed a new campaign from social justice charity, Key4Life.
The organisation works with 18 to 25-year-old prisoners and ex-offenders to provide programmes that encourage young men to change their ways.
He said: “I’m honoured to be supporting Key4Life, and their new Younited campaign, a call to action to businesses in the UK, to give ex-offenders a second chance by providing employment opportunities.
“It is critical that industry, together with government, support this initiative.
“All young men coming out of prison and looking for a way to redeem themselves within society, need self-respect.
“That comes from having a job that in turn provides them with an identity and sense of purpose.
“We must help break the circle of crime, and industry has a role to play in that by employing young people who have grown up in difficult circumstances – and usually disadvantaged.
“Unlocking jobs for them has to be the right direction for society in general and I am proud to be a part of this important project.”
Rodgers will perform with Chic at the official launch of the campaign.
Eva Hamilton, founder and chief executive of Key4Life, said: “Launching Younited is the next logical step if we are to really help disenfranchised men, by calling on businesses to offer them a chance of redemption and help them back in society.
“This new initiative will encourage and challenge the business community to play its part in reducing youth offending and help address the alarming rise of youth violence and crime in the UK.”
The Ministry of Justice has recently revealed re-offending costs society about £16 billion a year and it costs £37,000 to keep someone in prison for a year.