Ex-criminals could become mentors to freed prisoners

When someone leaves prison, I want them already to have a mentor in place to help them get their lives back together. I want them to be met at the prison gate, to have a place to live sorted out, to have rehab or training lined up, and above all someone who knows where they are, what they are doing, and can be a wise friend to prevent them from reoffending.

Often it will be the former offender gone straight who is best placed to steer the young prisoner back onto the straight and narrow - the former gang member best placed to prevent younger members from rushing straight back to rejoin the gang on the streets. There are some really good examples out there of organisations making good use of the old lags in stopping the new ones. We need more of that for the future.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

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Freed prisoners could get mentor

Offenders should be "met at the prison gate" by mentors who can help them escape a life of crime, the Justice Secretary will say today.