Veterans: Prisoners

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th November 2018.

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Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he has made an estimate of the proportion of veteran prisoners mentored under Project Phoenix; and if he will consider securing funds to extend the reach of that project.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Today I met with Care After Combat to discuss Project Phoenix. I am very pleased they will be the first military charity to submit data for analysis to the Ministry of Justice’s Data Lab, to assess the effectiveness of Project Phoenix in reducing reoffending.

A recent Ministry of Justice Experimental Statistics publication indicated that there were at least 2,032 former members of the Armed Services in prison as at 30 June 2018. This represented 4% of the matched prison population. I understand an evaluation of Project Phoenix in 2017 highlighted there were 162 prisoners engaging with the programme.

We are keen to use the skills and expertise of voluntary sector organisations, including military charities, in addressing the needs and supporting those offenders with a military background who enter the Criminal Justice System. These services are part of our wider commissioning decisions and, to ensure open and fair competition, all contracts and grants should be subject to open competition.

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