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Prisoners Release

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will commission research to identify how many ex-prisoners of working age were in sustained work (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months after being released from prison in each year since 1992. (191968)

Research which has that purpose is already in hand.

The Ministry of Justice has commissioned three cohort studies to identify and assess offenders’ needs and risks, and to identify what interventions they receive and how these interventions are associated with a range of outcomes, including employment. The studies concern prisoners, offenders serving community sentences and juveniles. The prison cohort study, “Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction” (SPCR) follows the progress of 4,000 newly sentenced prisoners during their sentence and when they return to the community. In addition to prisoners’ self-reported employment and training after release, the study will have access to benefits and tax records held by the Department for Work and Pensions, which is a financial stakeholder in the study. The first results from this study, describing the presenting problems and needs of prisoners, are scheduled for publication in April 2008.

Also in April, the Ministry of Justice will be publishing results from an analysis of survey data from 4,898 sentenced prisoners nearing release which was combined with criminal history and reoffending information from the Police National Computer. The study assesses the links between prisoners’ circumstances on release (in areas such as education, training, employment, accommodation and family ties), interventions attended in prisons, and reoffending one year after discharge.

I am happy to arrange for my right hon. Friend to discuss his proposals with the relevant officials in my Department.