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Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Jane Hunt Jane Hunt Conservative, Loughborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to help reduce rates of prisoner re-offending.

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

This Government is committed to reducing reoffending by ensuring that all offenders have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime. The current proven reoffending rate is 28.7%.

We know that offenders typically have needs in a range of areas, such as education, employment, accommodation and family relationships. Many of these needs drive offending and the prison and probation system provides an opportunity to address them.

We have recently overhauled the prison education system, giving governors more control over the education budget for their establishments, and have implemented two new prison education frameworks. Additionally, the new Prison Education Service will build on this by improving the range of training available to prisoners which is directly linked to real jobs on release. We are also engaging with employers to take on ex-prisoners via the New Futures Network (NFN) and in May 2019 we introduced reforms to increase the opportunities available to prisoners to gain experience in real workplaces through Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL).

We are investing up to £6.4m in an accommodation pilot scheme to support individuals released from three prisons: Bristol, Leeds and Pentonville. Services have now commenced in all three areas, with the first individuals now being supported into accommodation following release.

We are also making positive progress in implementing the recommendations as set out by Lord Farmer’s review on the importance of family engagement to reduce reoffending and we have delivered 13 out of the 19 recommendations to date.

Although much is being done to reduce reoffending, this remains a complex issue that requires a combined effort across government and local partners in order to support ex-offenders when they are released.

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