Prisons: Rehabilitation and Reoffenders

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 31st July 2019.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking in prisons to (a) reduce reoffending rates and (b) improve offender rehabilitation.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

We are committed to ensuring offenders leaving prison have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime - reducing reoffending and ultimately keeping the public safe.

One year ago, we published our Education and Employment strategy, which set out how we will transform our approach to ensure offenders develop the skills they need to secure employment on release.

Since the publication of the Education and Employment Strategy, we have given governors greater autonomy over their budgets to strengthen their education provision and implemented the New Futures Network to broker partnerships with employers, giving offenders more opportunities to work and train while serving their sentence and increase their chances of securing an immediate job on release. More than 230 businesses have registered to work with prisons and set offenders on a path to employment.

We recently made changes so that governors can now consider Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) earlier and in more cases meaning offenders can enter the workplace sooner. We have also invested £7 million in in-cell telephones to allow offenders to maintain important family ties, which is fundamental to their rehabilitation.

It is also vital that everyone leaving prison has somewhere safe and secure to live. Having stable accommodation acts as a platform to accessing other services vital to rehabilitation, as well as employment and education opportunities. As part of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy, we are investing up to £6.4 million in a pilot scheme to support individuals released from three prisons; Bristol, Leeds and Pentonville.

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