Commenting on today’s (29 January) funding announcement by the Ministry of Justice, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:  

“These announcements are all welcome, and put some meat on the bone of the government’s commitment to reducing reoffending. A place to live and the means to earn your living are both crucial to giving people a fair chance when they leave prison. To achieve the impact the government wants, it will be essential that these modest commitments turn into a permanent, national investment in community based solutions to crime. The public are best protected when people get help long before there is any possibility of a prison sentence.  

The amounts of money involved in these welcome announcements are still dwarfed by the £4bn the government is planning to spend on new prisons because of its continuing love affair with imprisonment. And they sit oddly with last weekend’s quiet announcement that 500 new prison places are to be provided for women, marking the apparent failure of a clear existing policy to reduce women’s imprisonment. There is a long way still to travel to achieve a rational, evidence based approach to reducing reoffending.”

Peter has also written about this issue for The i Paper, click here to read the article.