David Cameron will today announce a "rehabilitation revolution" under which virtually all prisoners will receive help turning their lives around and breaking the cycle of reoffending.
As part of what the Prime Minister will call a "tough but intelligent" approach to criminal justice, there will be a major extension of payment-by-results for companies, charities and voluntary groups who help offenders escape a life of crime.
Currently only those who are jailed for more than a year are given rehabilitation.
Mr Cameron will say he wants to see all but a small number of high-risk prisoners receive support by the end of 2015.
While placing a greater emphasis on rehabilitation, the Prime Minister will seek to reassure supporters of tougher sentencing - including many on the right of his party - that he is not turning "soft or liberal" on law and order.
In a major speech, designed to recapture the political agenda after weeks of difficulties for the Government, he will stress that he never in fact uttered the phrase "hug a hoodie" despite it becoming a defining motif of his leadership.
Serious crimes must be met with long prison sentences, he will say, adding: "Retribution is not a dirty word. It is important to society that revulsion against crime is properly recognised."
But he will argue that "just being tough isn't a successful strategy in itself", and prisoners who cannot read, are addicted to drugs or have never worked a day in their life, need help so that they can lead productive lives.
He will say that Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, appointed to replace Ken Clarke in last month's reshuffle, is leading a mission to see more offenders properly punished but fewer returning to prison.
Mr Cameron will say that by the end of 2015 he wants payment by results extended across rehabilitation so that it becomes "the norm rather than the exception".
Mr Cameron will say he wants to get away from the "sterile" debate that has become polarised between alternatives like "lock 'em up or let 'em out" and "blame the criminal or blame society".
Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday announced a crackdown on gun-runners with a new criminal offence of possessing firearms with intent to supply.
The offence will carry a life sentence, up from 10 years for blackmarket smugglers at present.
She is concerned about criminals who provide gangs with weapons to hire. As a result, relatively few weapons are being used in numerous different incidents.
Mrs May said the middle men were as responsible for gun crime as those that actually used the weapons, and so should face the consequences. The move will require legislation.
Labour accused the Prime Minister of "empty rhetoric" designed to keep Tory MPs on-side.
Mr Cameron's speech follows a difficult period for the coalition Government, which has been largely engulfed in recent weeks by the row over Andrew Mitchell's foul-mouthed confrontation with Downing Street police officers.
He finally quit on Friday night, which was damaging for the Prime Minister after weeks of trying to shore up his chief whip.