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Volume 553: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2012

By 2015, I intend to apply payment by results to the majority of rehabilitation work conducted with offenders in the community. Providers will be commissioned to rehabilitate offenders, and those who are successful at reducing reoffending will be rewarded. I will announce detailed proposals shortly.

Studies such as the recent report from the Prison Reform Trust show that women have higher rates of reoffending. Will my right hon. Friend update the House on plans to divert women from custody in the first place, particularly those with short sentences?

I do agree. One of the first prisons I visited was Holloway. I saw at first hand the very different challenge we face with women offenders. One of the earliest steps I took was to separate ministerial responsibility for men and women in our prisons, asking the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Mrs Grant) to take on the role of Minister with responsibility for women in prisons, and to look at whether we are getting the regime right and how we should adapt it to reflect the very different challenges we face with women in our prisons.