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Prospects Project

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the objectives of the Prospects Project were; and if he will make a statement on its progress. (212854)

The Prospects programme was designed to reduce crime in local communities by assisting offenders with a history of drug taking to lead law-abiding lives. It offered such offenders a 12-16 week residential place with comprehensive services and support followed by identification of suitable accommodation where support was provided for up to six months in the community. It was originally aimed at drug-using offenders serving short prison sentences who became abstinent in custody and entered into voluntary support on release to the programme.

The numbers of offenders dealt with by the programme were not as high as expected and following a commercial review it was considered that the costs of the programme outweighed the benefits being realised. This view was supported by independent evaluation. I consequently agreed to the closure of the programme on the 7 January 2008. Members of Parliament for the respective constituencies in which the hostels are located have been informed.