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Reoffending

Volume 563: debated on Tuesday 21 May 2013

We have heard a lot this afternoon about our plans for transforming rehabilitation. It is worth restating to the House what I believe is a crucial part of those reforms: the alignment of the prison service geographically to areas into which people are going to be released, through the creation of a network of resettlement prisons. I think that will make as big a difference to the process as any other part of our reforms.

A recent report from the Charities Aid Foundation welcomed the opportunities that payment by results will create for the voluntary sector, but it also warned that many organisations will need support to ensure that they can become credible providers of services on a much larger scale. What help is the Minister putting in place to ease this transition?

We are doing two things. First, through the Cabinet Office, which has responsibility for liaison with the voluntary sector, we are putting in place widespread support to help the voluntary sector prepare for this process. We have also put in place a justice data lab, which is designed to allow smaller voluntary sector organisations that have a track record in working with offenders to quantify the impact of their work on rehabilitation so that they can sell a story about what they can do to partners in the bidding process.

As one would expect, getting more work into prisons will make a considerable contribution to reducing reoffending. Can the Secretary of State update the House on the progress being made by one3one Solutions?

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for the work he did as Justice Minister on improving the availability of work in prisons. It is to his credit that we saw an increase of 800,000 in the number of hours worked in our prisons last year. My hon. Friend the Prisons Minister is building on that work and it is my hope and expectation that we will see that increase continue.

There are of course a smaller number of women’s prisons, but it is our intention to have the same geographic links between detention and release for women as well.