From education to employment

Justice Secretary David Lidington sets out the essential reforms under way to make prisons places of safety and reform

The work to make our prisons true places of reform and rehabilitation is already under way – and it will continue unabated.

When someone is convicted of a serious crime, they are rightly handed down a custodial sentence by our courts. They are punished by being sent to prison and losing what we cherish most as citizens – liberty and freedom.

Most will, at some point, be released back into society. So, as well as depriving people of liberty, our prisons must also be places of reform and rehabilitation to support offenders to turn their lives around.

Prisons have been going through a particularly turbulent time and we need to create calm and ordered environments for that effective rehabilitation. That means giving offenders the help they need to get off drugs, and the education, training and support to help them find employment when they leave prison.

In doing this, prisons don’t work in isolation. They work within their local communities and with other services – with Probation, Jobcentres, housing, health and drug services, local businesses and charities to provide innovative schemes and initiatives to prepare prisoners for a life after release. We now have more private sector companies employing ex-offenders than ever before. Timpson, Halfords and The Clink Charity are just 3 examples of organisations which do great work with prisons and offenders.

David Lidington 2 CroppedOnly by building on this work to reform offenders and support ex-offenders will we stop the vicious and costly cycle of reoffending.

This is my priority and as the new Secretary of State, I am committed to building on the essential reforms that are already under way to make prisons places of safety and reform.

The Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

Taken from Prison reform: open letter from the Justice Secretary. See the full letter here

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