Of course, prisons should be places of punishment, but they also need to be places of safety and reform. Around half the people who leave prison reoffend within a year. We know that getting offenders off drugs, dealing with their mental health and housing issues, improving family ties and getting them into work are all critical to reducing reoffending. That is why we are giving governors power over all those issues.
Hopefully, my private Member’s Bill will become the Homelessness Reduction Act on Thursday. Under the Act, prison governors will have a duty to provide prisoners with homes and prepare them for life outside prison so that they do not reoffend. What communication and training have been given to prison governors in preparation for that Act becoming law?
First, I commend my hon. Friend on his fantastic Bill. We have recently written to governors about their new powers over areas such as preparing prisoners for release, education and employment. Housing is one issue covered in that communication.