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Crime Prevention

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 107089, tabled on 21 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department makes of the effect of proposed social policies on the reduction of crime.

Answered on

29 October 2020

In the year ending September 2019, 80% of offenders receiving a caution or conviction had at least one previous caution or conviction. Therefore, if we want to reduce crime then we must tackle reoffending.

The drivers of reoffending are complex, which the Criminal Justice System cannot address alone. That is why we are taking a renewed cross-government approach to tackle the drivers of reoffending across both custody and community.

We have already invested in a number of initiatives to enhance rehabilitation and reduce crime. Our £6 million accommodation pilot scheme in Leeds, Pentonville and Bristol operating since August 2019, has enrolled 323 individuals. In July we announced the Prison Leavers Project confirming £20 million of funding, aiming to support local leadership, identify innovative new ways to address reoffending and improve the social inclusion of those leaving prison.

We have also increased the probation budget by 17% this year to over £1.1 billion and will ensure the probation service continues to have the resources it needs to protect the public and reduce reoffending. Under the probation reform programme, the private and voluntary sector can still bid for a range of contracts for rehabilitation and resettlement support through the Dynamic Framework. We anticipate eventually spending over £100 million a year on these services.

Last year, we announced a £2.5 billion programme to reform the prison estate and provide 10,000 additional prison places. We will deliver four new prisons that boost rehabilitation and cut reoffending, providing improved security and additional training facilities to help offenders find employment on release. This forms a major part of our plans to transform the prison estate and create environments where offenders can be more effectively rehabilitated and turn their backs on crime.

An experimental statistical report showed that among those who committed an offence in the two years prior to engaging with treatment, 44% did not go on to reoffend in the two years following treatment (MoJ, PHE, 2017). Therefore, we support delivery of NHS England’s care after custody service, RECONNECT, for prison leavers with vulnerabilities, who would otherwise struggle to engage with community health services.

It is our ambition to go further and build on work that is already underway, focusing on improving accommodation, employment and substance misuse treatment outcomes for individuals that come into contact with the Criminal Justice System.