What steps his Department has taken to reduce reoffending rates.
We have opened up the delivery of rehabilitation services to a diverse range of public, private and voluntary sector providers who will be paid in full only if they are successful at reducing reoffending. Rehabilitation support is being extended to an extra 45,000 offenders on sentences of less than 12 months who have previously received little, if any, support on release and have the highest reoffending rates.
It seems to me that there is nothing better for the economy, society and our constituents than when offenders come out of prison and stay out of prison, so my spirits are lifted to learn that across the Windsor constituency there were fewer than 100 reoffenders in the year to 2013. Does the Secretary of State agree that we must continue to do all we can to help ex-offenders back into work and to help them regain a foothold in our society?
Absolutely—this is now the only way we can continue to drive down crime to the degree we want. We have fewer first-time offenders, as the Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend Andrew Selous, said earlier, and that is good news. Crime increasing is caused by people going round and round the system. I believe that for the first time in decades, we have real chance of making a serious impact on that by providing support to short-sentence prisoners who were previously left to walk the streets with £46 in their pockets, and not surprisingly ended up back in the same places committing the same crimes all over again.