– Prisons minister Crispin Blunt
By enabling them to pay their own way sooner rather than later through immediate entry to the Work Programme, we will break the cycle of crime earlier for more offenders, which is in the interests of us all."
Under Government plans, everyone leaving prison and claiming jobseeker's allowance will immediately be referred to the Government's Work Programme.
Official figures for England and Wales showed that half of ex-offenders were on out-of-work benefits two years after being released from prison in 2008.
Prisoners are to receive specialist support to help them find work when they complete their jail sentences, the Government has announced.
Benefit claims will be processed while prisoners are in jail so they will immediately join the Work Programme when they are released.
Ministers said the aim was to help prisoners in England, Wales and Scotland find a job as quickly as possible and to stop them re-offending.