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Preventing offenders from reoffending ...


This section sets out our belief that while punishment is the first and most important response to crime, it is not sufficient to prevent offenders from reoffending.

Current rates of reoffending are unacceptable. Nearly half of adult offenders released from prison are reconvicted within a year, and overall one in five offenders spent some time in custody in the year after they were released from prison or started a non-custodial sentence.1

Our priorities are to get offenders off drugs and alcohol for good; address offenders' mental health problems; get offenders into work; and reduce barriers to resettlement. We will take into account the different profile of women's offending in achieving this.

In more detail:

Offenders in custody

We will pilot Drug Recovery Wings in five prisons, and increase security to reduce the supply of drugs and alcohol. We are also working to ensure offenders gain skills to maintain stable lives on release through the roll out of the 'Virtual Campus' to broaden the range of learning services available.

Offenders on non-custodial sentences

We will explore options for intensive drug and alcohol treatment based accommodation, and improving offenders' access to settled housing. We are already working with eight local areas announced as pilots for payment by results approaches to drug and alcohol recovery. And we will also ensure offenders with mental health problems receive treatment in the most appropriate and secure setting, by piloting the roll out of liaison services in police custody and courts by 2014.

Payment by results

We will pioneer a system where we only pay for results, delivered by a diverse range of providers, and will publish a wider Offender Services Competition Strategy shortly which will be the starting point for our wider competition approach.

Download the full response document.

1Adult reconvictions: results from the 2009 cohort (MoJ, March 2011).

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