From education to employment

Justice minister praises staff at Foston Hall near Sudbury

Justice Minister, Dr Phillip Lee

Minister visits leading women’s prison to hear from staff providing support for vulnerable women.

As a local resettlement prison, Foston Hall offers vocational training for prisoners in areas such as textiles, retail and horticultural studies – helping prepare them to lead a life without crime by providing the relevant skills for a career on release. Many of the staff at the prison are from the local area and have close links to the community and work hard to reintegrate released prisoners into the area by working closely with local support services.

Foston Hall also has a dedicated unit for vulnerable women, and staff at the prison have benefited from specialist trauma-informed training. This helps them develop a greater understanding of the behaviours that lead to offending – enhancing safety and security across the estate. Staff are also committed to maintaining family engagement and improving family ties for prisoners.

The government has been clear in its commitment to building on the essential reforms to the prison system which are already under way, including providing specialist training for prison officers and supporting both offenders and ex-offenders in finding sustained employment and housing on release.

Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee said:

Prison officers at Foston Hall do a challenging job and work with a range of vulnerable women who need intensive help and support.

I came here today to express my gratitude to the governor and her team for the vital work they are doing to support prisoners, which will help reduce reoffending, cut crime and lead to fewer victims.

We will continue to listen to them and all prison staff as we develop our strategy on female offenders and deliver on our important reforms to make prisons safe and cut reoffending.

The positive work from staff at Foston Hall represents the wholescale changes that are taking place across the prison system, following on from the launch of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) earlier this year, which announced 2,500 new prison officers and an additional £100 million investment across the estate, with new measures to get offenders off drugs and provide them with the education and skills they need to turn their backs on crime.

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