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Nacro has responded to the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons annual report, which was published here yesterday.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive at Nacro, said:

“Shockingly high levels of self harm, drug abuse and suicide highlighted in this report once again show that our current prison system isn’t working. In many cases, our prisons are not helping to prepare people for a better life upon release, and could contribute to an increased risk of reoffending. If we are to truly tackle stubborn reoffending rates once and for all, we need a relentless focus upon rehabilitation from the moment someone is sentenced, right through to resettlement within the community.

“We need urgent action to follow the recent commitment from government to abolish short prison sentences and explore community based sentences.  This is critical in order to reduce the unnecessarily high numbers of people being sent to prison in the first place.

“As highlighted within the report, despite some improvements in release planning, far too many people are still being released without accommodation. At Nacro, we’ve relentlessly been calling for more to be done to overcome this serious issue. We see that people leaving prison are often held back by homelessness, as well as a lack of essential medication or health support, a lack of ID or access to sufficient money upon release. We need a cross government approach to reducing reoffending, to ensure that these essential basics are in place for people to successfully reintegrate back into our local communities. Without them people simply cannot move forward and the risk of reoffending remains.”