Justice written question – answered on 13th May 2014.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the relationship between trends in (a) the prison population and (b) crime levels in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

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

In the last 10 years crime has come down and fewer people are committing crimes for the first time. However there is now a hard core of persistent offenders that keep coming back to serve time in our prisons over and over again.

Prison is an essential part of our criminal justice system—it punishes offences, protects the public from dangerous offenders, sends a strong message about what society is willing to accept, and provides an opportunity for rehabilitation.

We are currently reorganising the prison estate to put in place an unprecedented nationwide through the prison gate resettlement service meaning that for the first time nearly all offenders will be given continuous support from custody into the community. This package of reforms will provide more effective rehabilitation at better value to the taxpayer and in a way that is sustainable for the future.

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