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Reoffending Rates

Volume 514: debated on Tuesday 20 July 2010

11. What the reoffending rate was for prisoners who had served custodial sentences of over 10 years in the latest period for which figures are available. (9423)

Of the 125 adult offenders released from a custodial sentence of over 10 years in the first quarter of 2008, 6.4% committed at least one further offence in the one-year follow-up period. In contrast, among those serving custodial sentences of 12 months or less in 2008, the reconviction rate was 61.1%.

What are the Minister’s views on short sentences for women? Does he agree that community sentences may be more effective in reducing the rate of reoffending by women?

Short sentences for men have proved pretty ineffective, and I think that short sentences for women are even more ineffective and deleterious. We support the conclusions of the Corston report, we are conducting an analysis of the effectiveness of different sentences as part of the current sentencing review, we are committed to reducing the number of women in prison, and a network of women-only community provision is being developed to support robust community sentences.

Perhaps at this point I should throw a bouquet to my predecessor, the hon. Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle), in recognition of her work in this regard. We propose to build on it.

Does the Minister agree that there is a serious risk of reoffending rates increasing in the next five to 10 years if the prison budget cuts result in less education and rehabilitation of prisoners?

The hon. Lady identifies the challenge we face. We as a nation have to increase our capacity to deliver education and all the other services that are required to assist in rehabilitating offenders. That is why we are going to effect a rehabilitation revolution which will involve that great army of people out there who want to help us and who have so far found our current structures very difficult to engage with. Moving to output-based measures will enable us to use the capacity of all those people who want to help us in the incredibly important work of rehabilitating offenders much more effectively than we have done to date.