In response to the Justice Secretary’s prisons reform speech, Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas, said:
“With ongoing reports of the increasing problems in our justice system and figures showing little change to stubborn reoffending rates over the past decade, we are encouraged by the Justice Secretary’s commitment to rehabilitation in order to reduce reoffending and prevent further victims of crime.
“We particularly welcome a new cross-government ministerial group on reducing reoffending as it is clear that no single government department holds the answer to this alone. All too often, Nacro staff see people released from prison struggle to secure a place to live and struggle to get into employment or access appropriate mental health support. Too many people are left unemployed and homeless, leading to an increased likelihood of reoffending. It is time for a joined-up approach, including a new offender housing strategy and a fundamental review of the criminal records regime, to give people leaving prison a real chance to turn their lives around.
“As well as a relentless focus on rehabilitation the government must stem the flow of people entering the justice system. By focusing on prevention and effective alternatives to custody – such as community sentences and supervision orders – we can reduce the number of people entering our currently overstretched prison system in the first place.”