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Probation plans: Public sector 'must do more for less'

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has emphasised the government's plans to "harness the mentoring skills of the voluntary sector" in an effort to stop prisoners re-offending.

No extra funding will be allocated to the project, but Grayling said that this was "a classic example of where the public sector needs to do more for less."

"We need a [probation] system that is less bureaucratic, more focussed on delivery, and I think that by driving down the costs that we have, we can release the funds that we need."


Important we have 'some kind of control' over ex-prisoners

Prisons minister, Jeremy Wright said new prison reform plans are aimed at "making sure people turn their lives around".

Offenders leaving prison could soon serve at least a year under supervision once they are back in the community.

Under the proposals, a network of around 70 "resettlement prisons" will be created so nearly all offenders will be released into the area in which they will live and be supervised.

Speaking to Daybreak he said: "We want to make sure that [ex-prisoners] stay in one place long enough to engage in the rehabilitation that they need", he added, "its important that we have some kind of control over them".

Ex-prisoner describes 'absolutely vital support'

A former prisoner and drug addict has told ITV News that accessing support when he left prison saved his life.

Keith W said he didn't like the term "supervision" but described his experience leaving prison and immediately being arrested again for drug offences before he accessed ex-prisoner support services to help him beat his drug addiction.

"It is absolutely imperative to have support...If you ask 90% of addicts then they will say they want to live their life drug free and clean but I stay clean through a fellowship of other addicts."

Prisoners are 'warehoused in overflowing prisons'

Mark Gettleson, Howard League for Penal Reform Credit: Daybreak

Mark Gettleson from the Howard League for Penal Reform said the Government's proposals to give ex-prisoners supervision in the community is "an admission that short-term prison sentences are failing".

He added that prisoners are currently "being warehoused in enormous overflowing prisons, rather than being given something useful to do on the outside."

Biggest re-organisation of prison system in 20 years

Re-offending rates have barely changed in a decade with more than 58% of prisoners serving fewer than 12 months committing further crime within a year of release.

Because of this, the Government is to undertake the biggest re-organisation of the prison system in more than 20 years:

  • A network of around 70 "resettlement prisons" will be created so nearly all offenders are released into the area in which they will live and be supervised
  • This will make it harder for offenders to move homes while they are under supervision to ensure continuity in the support they receive
  • England and Wales will be divided into 21 areas, which align with local authorities and Police and Crime Commissioner areas
  • Private and voluntary sector organisations will then be invited to bid for work in these areas


Cameron 'failed to deliver' on prisoner rehabilitation

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said David Cameron has "failed to deliver" on prisoner rehabilitation, he added that the coalition has "wasted the last three years doing nothing".

He said: "The Government has no idea how their policies will be implemented.

"They have no answers to questions such as how much will the doubling of the workload for probation cost, where the money is coming from or how the overcrowded prison estate cope with their local resettlement plans."

Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

"This is another wasted chance by the Government - it should have pursued a model that focused on evidence of what works to reduce re-offending.

"Instead it has obsessively pursued pet projects leading to the imposition of an untried and untested payment by results model on the probation service which will take big risks with public safety and taxpayers' money."

High re-offending rates have 'dogged Governments'

New reforms to the prison system which come as part of the Government's "rehabilitation revolution" will see ex-offenders receive a minimum of 12 months supervision in the community.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Tackling our stubbornly high re-offending rates has dogged successive governments for decades. These reforms represent a golden opportunity to finally turn the tide and put a stopper in the revolving door of the justice system.

Chris Grayling: "Golden opportunity to finally turn the tide and put a stopper in the revolving door of the justice system" Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

"It is simply not good enough that we spend £4 billion a year on prisons and probation, and yet make no real dent in the appetite of offenders to commit more crime. It is little wonder when many of our most prolific criminals leave prison totally unsupervised in the community", he added.

"These reforms are essential and will ensure that offenders are properly punished but also given targeted support to help them turn away from crime for good."

Supervision in the community for all ex-prisoners

A minimum of 12 months supervision in the community must be served by every offender leaving prison, the Justice Secretary announced today.

All offenders who enter prison, even for just a few days, will be subject to the new supervision, Chris Grayling said.

They will also be given support into housing, employment, training and substance abuse programmes.

The new reforms will be rolled out across England and Wales by 2015, around offenders, serving sentences of up to two years, will receive extended rehabilitation.