To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 6 of his Department's Education and Employment Strategy 2018, Cm 9621, published in May 2018, what assessment his Department has made of reasons for the under-utilisation of the Workplace on Release on Temporary Licence.
The number of prisoners using release on temporary licence (ROTL) has fallen by about a third since 2013, when we reviewed the approach to ROTL. Following that review, there is now a greater focus on linking all ROTL activity to the individual’s sentence plan and an improved risk assessment and management approach. This has, however, had an unintended consequence – restrictions to improve risk management of the most serious offenders have resulted in some lower risk offenders not being able to benefit from ROTL.
We are therefore consulting those involved in making ROTL decisions and those who provide ROTL placements to explore how to improve access to temporary release for those who can be trusted to take it where it supports the key aims of better engagement with individual sentence planning objectives, and particularly workplace ROTL.
We want prisoners to know that there is a route to a better life and this is through purposeful activity, through education, through skills and through employment.
We have an important role to help offenders build the experience they need whilst they are in prison so they can have the right attitude for work, get a job when they are released and turn their back on crime for good.