The justice Secretary Chris Grayling is set to announce a new approach towards short-term prisoners. According to his plans, prisoners sentenced to less than 12 months in jail will have to undertake a post-release rehabilitation programme, which will help them get back to normal life and hopefully prevent them from being jailed again.
According to the current legislation, offenders imprisoned for under a year are given #46 upon their release, without being offered any additional support. For that reason Grayling plans to announce a program which will encourage the private sector to involve themselves into the integration of ex-prisoners back to society.
“Nearly half of prisoners themselves say they will need help to find a job when they leave prison,” Grayling is to say in a speech today. “Over a third say they will need help to find somewhere to live when they are let out.
“When all we do is just take those people, release them onto the streets with £46 in their pockets and no other support, why are we surprised that they reoffend again quickly?”
This would be a great change in the criminal justice system and will be used to facilitate the next steps in the government’s “rehabilitation revolution”.
Grayling is not satisfied with the current system and criticises it for “recycling people round and round the system”, that`s why he is determined to change it and involve charities and private companies in the process of rehabilitation for ex-prisoners. In addition, he hopes that older and already re-integrated ex-prisoners will be able to act as mentors to the newly freed ones and help them start a normal life again and to to ensure they get the help necessary to prevent them reoffending.
Charities and private firms will be ‘paid by results’ They will be expected to recruit former inmates to help them meet these targets by ‘mentoring’ prisoners from the second they are released back on to the streets. The program is set to prevent them from “falling back to crime”, as they are not entitled to statutory post-release monitoring by the probation service, because of the less than 12 months sentence.
However concerns have been raised over safety if these services are exclusively handled by private firms. Sue Hall, chairman of the Probation Chiefs Association, warned that “the Government must understand that the public will be put at risk if it goes ahead with its proposal to outsource offender management”.
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