Home Department written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of Claire Curtis-Thomas Claire Curtis-Thomas Labour, Crosby

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department is taking to increase the amount of purposeful activity available for prisoners.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

The Prison Service is committed to increasing the provision of quality purposeful activity for prisoners. Through the Custody to Work initiative, an investment of over £14 million per annum is being provided to expand the initiatives that have a positive impact on reducing re-offending and contribute to purposeful activity.

This money is being used to develop the following purposeful activities across the prison estate: more accredited skills training in sectors with realistic job opportunities for released prisoners (such as construction, utilities, catering, industrial cleaning, warehousing and transport); job-search training and support; through-the-gate job placement; education and housing advice and support services.

Prison Industries occupy prisoners in out-of-cell activity and wherever possible help them gain skills, qualifications and work experience to improve their employment prospects on release. Over £4 million has been invested in industrial workshops over the past two years to help develop quality purposeful activities.

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