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Reoffending Rates

Volume 532: debated on Tuesday 13 September 2011

13. What recent progress he has made in implementing his policy of payment by results to reduce the rate of reoffending. (71319)

Payment by results is gathering pace. We are piloting a number of different approaches to see what works best. Two prison pilots have been put in place at Her Majesty’s prisons Peterborough and Doncaster.

Pilots also will begin in public sector prisons next year. Six justice reinvestment pilots have been put in place through memorandums of understanding with either local authority chief executives or local police chiefs in Manchester and London.

In 2012 two community pilots will commence to rehabilitate offenders while serving sentences in the community, in addition to one or more provider-led innovation pilots. We are also working with the Department for Work and Pensions through the Work programme and with the Department of Health on drug and alcohol recovery to look more widely at payment by results mechanisms which fully—

Order. I advise the Minister, for next month the answers should be a bit shorter. They are just a bit too long.

I thank the Minister for that careful reply. He will be aware of the Justice Committee’s recommendation that contracts should follow the offender through the criminal justice system, rather than attach themselves to the various institutions through which he or she might pass. What progress has the Department made in considering those proposals?

My hon. Friend will have realised, given the number of pilots we are conducting—I am sorry, Mr Speaker, that the list was too long for me to deliver satisfactorily—that we are testing the different elements of the system to identify the best and most effective way to deliver payment by results. I hope that, in the end, we can deliver the offender-centric process on which my hon. Friend relies, once we have identified which part of the system makes offenders best respond to effective rehabilitation measures.

Do any of those projects help to test whether providing housing for people leaving prison helps them to be less likely to reoffend?

Housing—having a home to go to—is plainly a key crime desistance factor, but an awful lot of other key factors, such as work and drug addiction, are well-documented. We want to get out of the business of identifying exactly what inputs people must deliver to offenders, but make all sorts of institutions responsible for focusing on the outputs and let them take the decisions about which are the appropriate desistance factors to address for the offenders whom they are treating.