In response to government plans to build four new ‘supersize’ prisons in England and Wales, Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas, said:
“We welcome government plans to modernise prison estates and prevent offenders being held in old, overcrowded Victorian buildings that are not fit for purpose at all.
“However, with a duty to rehabilitate offenders due to be enshrined in law, building plans for new prisons must have a relentless focus upon rehabilitation – taking into account the importance of maintaining family ties, ease of access to healthcare, the availability of education and training rooms and in-cell technology – and purpose-built units for different groups of offenders with specialist needs.
“At Nacro, we work with young and adult offenders in prisons and in the community, delivering services to help people change their lives for the better and reduce the risk of offending. We have seen time and time again that rehabilitation is often dependent upon offenders maintaining ties with their local communities, families and support networks. Building plans, therefore, must consider accessibility by various transport routes to ensure family relationships are not frustrated and that the implementation of release on temporary license is not inhibited.
“We look forward to further modernisation programme announcements that should include further detail about offender rehabilitation going forward and how these new prisons are going to fundamentally contribute to breaking the cycle of very poor reoffending rates.”