Results 21–40 of 12532 for speaker:David Gauke

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: In May we published the education and employment strategy, which will set each prisoner on a path to employment, with prison education and work geared towards employment on release from the outset. Since publication of the strategy, we are working with about 70 new organisations that have registered an interest in working with offenders.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: My right hon. Friend is right to raise the point. My hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (David T. C. Davies) has also raised that point on the Floor of the House, and we are working on proposals to do precisely that. Getting offenders into work makes them less likely to reoffend and enables them to contribute to society. It is something that we should absolutely aspire to.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend raises an important point. It is worth pointing out that the offender banking programme ensures that prisons that release a significant number of prisoners have a relationship with a commercial bank to enable prisoners to open a basic bank account in the last six months of their sentence. A record number of accounts—6,500—were opened in 2017. He is right to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: I will be very happy to do so. It is an important point. I am pleased to hear about the work that Fred Sirieix is undertaking, and I will be happy to meet with him.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: We work across government on this matter and are considering a number of proposals across government, including with BEIS, on how we can encourage employers in this area, including on apprenticeships. Let me make a point I have made before: employers are increasingly looking at employing ex-offenders. We should all welcome that, and I would be supportive of any constructive steps to progress this.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: That is a good point. One thing we announced when I launched the education and employment strategy was the fact that the public sector—the civil service—was taking people on. We had a pilot in the north-west of England, which we are now extending to other parts of the United Kingdom. The Prison Service also takes on ex-offenders. The right hon. Gentleman is right to highlight...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: The reoffending rate has actually fallen since then, but we recognise that issues need to be addressed. That is why earlier this year I announced a series of reforms to the probation system, including spending an additional £22 million on “through the gate” services to address this specific point.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend, the Chairman of the Select Committee on Justice, raises an interesting point. The point I make to him is that we need to make sure that this system is working. There is scope for improvement, and, as I say, we have announced additional expenditure in this area, but he is right to say that this is not about who does it, but how it is done. There are steps we can take to improve it.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Offenders and Employment (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: What I can guarantee is that we are increasing the numbers—they have gone up by 3,500 in the past two years. That is enabling us to implement a key worker strategy, so that prison officers have the ability to spend more time with prisoners and can build that personal relationship, providing the support and advice necessary. That is an important step forward and I am pleased we are able...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: As I have said recently, there is persuasive evidence that short custodial sentences do not work in terms of rehabilitation. In certain circumstances, community sentences are more effective in the reduction of reoffending and therefore keeping the public safe. The reoffending rate of offenders who serve fewer than 12 months is around 65%, but earlier research has shown the reoffending rate...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his remarks. He referred to the female offender strategy; as he will be aware, its focus is on alternatives to custody, particularly for minor offences. There are particular issues for females offenders in respect of the nature of the offences and the issues that female offenders face, so it is right that we implement the new strategy.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: Often, it is not the right place, which is why my hon. Friend the Prisons Minister and I have been clear that we need to consider alternatives to custody and explore what more we can do with community sentences. In some cases, the issue is getting to the heart of the problem, which often might be drug dependency and so on. Some encouraging pilots are ongoing in respect of community sentence...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: We are very much engaging with the strategy, and it is a strategy that I support. We are ensuring that we work across government to intervene as early as we can and that we have strong alternatives to custody that are not soft options but are effective. I draw the hon. Lady’s attention to the work that we are doing on community sentence treatment requirements as a way in which we can...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: We are looking at various options in this context. I know that Scotland introduced a presumption against three months. I think it is fair to say that that did not make much of a difference, and it has now been extended to 12 months, and we are looking at the evidence from that. I hope it is very clear to the House that, when it comes to reducing reoffending and to rehabilitation, we do...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend is right to raise that concern. There are different ways in which one can address that matter. More support could be provided. For example, there could be release on a temporary licence a few days before the final release so that many of the public services can be accessed. Whether we look at release on a particular day or at other ways of addressing that matter, I completely...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: I had a feeling that the consensus was not going to last much longer. The reality is that, for petty offenders who tend to be prolific and tend to be repeat offenders, the evidence shows that non-custodial sentences are more effective at reducing reoffending than custodial sentences and that is the approach that we want to take.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: People are sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment. The purpose of prison should be about ensuring that when people are released, they are less likely to reoffend. I do not think that my hon. Friend is setting out an effective approach.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: It is important that there are incentives—both carrots and sticks—in the prison system. Good behaviour in prison should be rewarded, just as bad behaviour should be punished. That is the approach that we need to take.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Sentences: Reoffending Reduction (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: We need to make sure that the alternatives to custody are effective—that they are not soft options, but that they do enable people to turn their lives around—and that the public have confidence that this is the proper course of action to take. That is our ambition.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Violence in Prisons (9 Oct 2018)

David Gauke: The influx of drugs has had an impact on violence levels in both public and private prisons, which is why we are investing in body scanners, improved searching techniques and phone blocking technology. In 2017, four of the top five assault rates in local prisons and category C prisons were in public prisons.


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