Today, the Ministry of Justice has announced the biggest re-organisation of the prison estate in more than 20 years. The reforms will for the first time create a nationwide network of ‘through the gate’ supervision and support for all offenders leaving custody. This is part of the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms – further information regarding the programme is available here.
This network of 70 resettlement prisons across England and Wales will enable the vast majority of prisoners released from prisons in, or close to, the area in which they will live after release. This will mean they begin working towards their resettlement in the community from the moment they arrive in prison.
It will also mean frontline staff outside prison can begin laying the groundwork and building links with the offender at the earliest opportunity. This will include seeing them come out to employment or training and support to tackle drug and alcohol addictions.
Trials will begin in the North West of England in the autumn with full roll-out across the estate by 2014.
From autumn 2014, around 50,000 short sentenced offenders each year will serve their whole sentence in a resettlement prison and come out to a tailored package of supervision and support.
Those with longer sentences will continue to serve their sentences in the most suitable prison to address their offending behaviour and be moved to a resettlement prisons at least three months before the end of their time in custody.
The newly categorised prisons will comprise 58 local and training prisons and all 12 open prisons for adult male prisoners.
The resettlement prisons will be aligned with our new 21 contract package areas across the country, as laid out in our Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. These areas will see private, voluntary and public sector workers bidding to provide community based rehabilitation work in each area. And they will only be paid in full if they are successful at cutting reoffending in their area.
Read the press notice.