A key part of our reform programme is adding 2,500 staff to our Prison Service. As far as HMP Lewes is concerned, we have made 24 job offers for additional prison officers since November. Starting pay at HMP Lewes is now £26,500, and along with more prison officers, that will enable the prison to support and challenge prisoners to turn their lives around.
Prisoners in Lewes, as elsewhere, will reoffend less if they get sustainable work. Many private sector employers are rising to the challenge of providing ex-offenders with work. Will the Minister give us an update on what is happening across the wider public sector so that it can lead by example?
Notably in the area of Lewes.
Employment in prisons, but also preparing prisoners for employment on release, is vital if we are to stop reoffending. The New Futures Network, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has launched, will work with a range of organisations, including public sector organisations, to help create employment opportunities for prisoners.