I am today signing contracts with the new owners of the 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs). This is another major step towards implementing the Government’s probation reforms.
Despite almost £3 billion a year investment in prisons and just under £1 billion in delivering sentences in the community, overall reoffending rates have barely changed over the last decade.
The very highest reoffending rates are among prisoners sentenced to custodial sentences of under 12 months. The current system is simply not addressing this problem— many of these prolific offenders, with a host of complex problems, are released on to the streets with little or no support.
For the first time in recent history, these reforms will mean that virtually every offender released from custody will receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community. The Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 will extend this statutory supervision and rehabilitation to all 45,000 of the most prolific group of offenders sentenced to less than 12 months in custody.
We are also putting in place an unprecedented nationwide “through the prison gate” resettlement service to support offenders from custody into the community.
This is the most diverse market we have ever had for any competition in the Ministry of Justice. The contracts that I will be signing today demonstrate how we are bringing together the best of the public, voluntary and private sectors with a wide range of skills and experience to improve rehabilitation provision.
In nearly all of the 21 areas, a mutual or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisation is involved at tier 1 or as a strategic partner, and six of the CRCs will be run with the involvement of a probation staff mutual. All new owners have included VCSE organisations in their proposed supply chains and 75% of the 300 subcontractors named are VCSE or mutual organisations.
Our transforming rehabilitation reforms are part of a programme across the whole justice system, making it ready to meet the challenges of the future. We are creating a justice system that produces more effective and more efficient services for all—reforming offenders, delivering value for the taxpayer and protecting victims and communities.
I have placed a copy of the final list of new owners in the Library of the House.
It is also available online at: http://www.parliament.uk/writtenstatements.