Over the past few days, the Government has released a series of announcements on prisons and reducing reoffending. Nacro’s comments on the news are below.
Government Drug Strategy
“The Government’s Drugs Strategy announcement of investment in treatment for addiction is both vital and welcome and will benefit us all. Yet other announcements in the strategy of increased punishment not only lack evidence of effectiveness but also fail to deliver on what we know is needed – the recognition that addiction is a health issue not a criminal justice issue. But this investment is much needed and a good decision by the Government. Recovery is not a linear journey. Up to 60% of people relapse at least once as they work on their recovery, people need continued support, not being dragged into the tide of the criminal justice system.”
Stopping the supply of drugs into prison“Tackling the impact of drugs in prison is important. But cracking down on supply will not solve the problem by itself. It is critical to address the reasons why so many people in prison turn to drugs or alcohol. Many have suffered past trauma, are living with mental health conditions or simply don’t feel like they have a future to care about. Prison must be a place of rehabilitation. Even before Covid we needed far better education, employment and other purposeful activity in prison. But with the huge toll Covid has placed on people in prison, including being locked up in cell for up to 23 hours a day, this is even more critical.”
Credit: BBC News