Prisoners: Employment

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Privileges

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2018 to Question 196156 on Prisoners: employment, for each of the figures given to provide the proportion of (a) men and (b) women.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The figures used to answer question 196156 were taken from data collected on the pre-imprisonment status employment status of individuals within 72 hours of them entering custody using the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCS) and covered the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. The corresponding breakdown by gender can be found in the table below.

BCS Q B4.12: Were you working before you came to custody?

Gender

Count of Assessments

Percentage

Employed

Female

1010

0.99%

Employed

Male

21151

20.78%

Employed

Not disclosed

1

0.00%

Unemployed

Female

6513

6.40%

Unemployed

Male

55024

54.05%

Unemployed

Not disclosed

6

0.01%

Unavailable for work

Female

2265

2.22%

Unavailable for work

Male

8519

8.37%

Retired

Female

69

0.07%

Retired

Male

1097

1.08%

Retired

Not disclosed

1

0.00%

Self-employed

Female

106

0.10%

Self-employed

Male

6045

5.94%

Self-employed

Not disclosed

1

0.00%

Count:

101808

100.00%

Note: Slight discrepancies in the figures from those published in response to question 196156 are likely to be due to the deletion of offender records and/or BCS responses from the OASys application since those figures were published.

As was stated in the earlier answer, these figures are compiled from information the prisoners have provided the assessor to enter into the BCS and include not only prisoners sentenced in respect of a criminal offence, but also those received into custody on remand. Given the information is provided by the prisoners themselves and is not assessed, there will always be a margin of error in the figures. A proportion of prisoners will enter custody multiple times each year and may provide different answers to these questions over time.

Prisons must be places of rehabilitation, which will ultimately reduce reoffending. Our Education and Employment strategy sets out how we will transform our approach to ensure prisoners develop the skills they need to secure employment on release. We have overhauled the prison education system and we implemented our new prison education contracts. Governors control their budget, including the power to choose providers and deliver learning that will best support their prisoners. We are engaging with employers to take on ex-prisoners via the New Futures Network (NFN) and have consulted on proposals to increase the opportunities available to prisoners to gain experience in real workplaces through ROTL.

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