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Volume 210: debated on Tuesday 30 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what future plans he has to assist long-term unemployed recidivists to reintegrate into society.

The Government plans for those sentenced to imprisonment are set out in "Custody, Care and Justice: The Way Ahead for the Prison Service in England and Wales" (Cm 1647) and in its reply (Cm 1837) to the First Report from the Employment Committee, Session 1991–92 on "Employment in Prisons and for Ex-Offenders". Of particular relevance to the needs of long-term prisoners are the plans to introduce this year, sentence planning for all prisoners serving sentences of four years or more and to encourage the development of community prisons, to which long-term prisoners could be transferred in the months prior to their release.Probation services, in supervising offenders on release from custody or under community sentences, are encouraged to identify employment and training needs and to facilitate these being met, for example through links with training and enterprise councils, the employment service and local employers, voluntary sector projects, including those run by NACRO and the APEX Trust, and through advice to offenders.