Justice written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Natascha Engel Natascha Engel Chair, Backbench Business Committee, Chair, Backbench Business Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will summarise the research and evidence sources that underpinned his decision to open the supply of probation services to a wider range of potential suppliers.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Published reoffending statistics show that, in the year to March 2012, 57.7% of prisoners serving sentences of less than 12 months reoffended within 12 months of release from custody, compared to 34.4% for prisoners released from sentences of 12 months or more. Overall, reoffending rates have barely changed over the last decade.

The National Audit Office (2010) report ‘Managing Offenders on Short Custodial Sentences’ estimated that the total cost to the economy of crime committed by short-sentenced offenders during 2007-08 was around £7 billion to £10 billion a year.

These figures make the case for reform very clear. Under our proposals in ‘Transforming Rehabilitation—A strategy for reform’, which we published in May 2013, we are extending supervision to short sentenced offenders and incentivising providers to reduce offending. The pilots in Peterborough and Doncaster have informed the new strategy, particularly in terms of working in partnership with providers from the private and voluntary sectors. According to interim reconviction data, these pilots show a fall in reoffending rates among the cohort of offenders covered by the scheme:

Final results for the first pilot cohorts will be available later this year.

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