Prisoners: Families

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 4th January 2018.

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Photo of Lord Murphy of Torfaen Lord Murphy of Torfaen Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce performance measures on family contact covering every stage of a prisoner's sentence.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

Families can play a significant role in supporting an offender; positive family relationships have been identified as helping to reduce reoffending. For this reason, we are promoting strong family or significant other ties as part of prison reform, alongside education and employment. We believe that a prisoner’s family or significant other is the most effective resettlement agency we have – as the prison inspectorate, the probation service and Ofsted all agree.

Lord Farmer’s review (August 2017) contains several recommendations to strengthen family or significant other ties to help offenders turn their lives around.

We are taking forward his recommendations. In October of this year we devolved the budget for family interventions to governors, providing them with the flexibility to spend their resources appropriately to help prisoners keep important family or significant other ties.

The Prison Safety and Reform White Paper committed to implementing a performance measure on family relationships for governors, and this will build upon the observations contained within Lord Farmer’s comprehensive report. Work is currently underway to define the content of this measure.

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