Tackling Reoffending: Voluntary Sector

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

What assessment the Government have made of the role of the voluntary sector in tackling reoffending.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The voluntary sector has a pivotal role in supporting rehabilitation and helping offenders to turn their lives around. I want to expand that role, including in the delivery of local and specialist services by smaller organisations. We have committed to tender up to £280 million of contracts for unpaid work, accredited programmes and rehabilitation interventions in the future model.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

There are indeed many brilliant charities and voluntary organisations that help ex-offenders get back on their feet, including in my constituency the likes of Caring Hands in the Vale, which is led by the brilliant Diane Bennett, and other organisations that work throughout the country, such as The Right Course, which is led by Fred Sirieix. What practical help can the Government give to such organisations?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

My hon. Friend is right to raise the excellent work done by those two organisations. In fact, more than 10,000 people work for voluntary organisations that are involved in criminal justice, and I want to involve them more closely. I have mentioned the dynamic framework, but we will also have a £20 million regional outcomes fund to pilot innovative programmes. The new regional probation model will allow local approaches at a local level.