Reoffending Rates: Friday Releases

Justice – in the House of Commons on 5th July 2022.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

What assessment he has made of the impact of ending Friday releases on reoffending rates.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

I know that accessing timely support on release can be particularly challenging on a Friday and that that can increase the risk of reoffending. That is why the Government have committed to pursuing legislation when parliamentary time allows to enable the release of prisoners up to two days earlier when a release date falls on a Friday or before a bank holiday. I welcome the fact that my hon. Friend Mark Jenkinson has introduced a private Member’s Bill on the issue. I look forward to that.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

What is key is that if we release ex-criminals and ex-offenders on a Friday, they are likely to return to their former habitat, reconnect with individuals whom they committed crimes with and reoffend. Equally, if they are homeless, they will not get any service from the local authority. I therefore commend the moves to change the position so that we can encourage people to rebuild their lives after being in prison.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

I thank my hon. Friend, who has a long record of tackling homelessness. We are particularly conscious of the impact that homelessness can have on ex-offenders released from prison, so, in addition to our commitment to legislate on Friday releases, by 2024-25 we will invest an additional £200 million a year to transform our approach to rehabilitation, including expanding our transitional accommodation service across England and Wales. Ex-offenders need a home, a job and a support network, and we are determined to help them to gain all three.