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Reoffending Rates

Volume 678: debated on Tuesday 14 July 2020

As we have heard this morning, the Government are committed to reducing reoffending rates across the board, not least because it is a specific target of the crime and justice taskforce set up by the Prime Minister. We will be bringing forward a number of plans over the next weeks and months to do so, not least the reinvigoration of integrated offender management, on which I will be leading across the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.

The Chris Donovan Trust is an amazing local charity set up by a local couple, Ray and Vi Donovan, whose son tragically lost his life through unprovoked violence. Carshalton and Wallington residents recognise the incredible work of the trust to raise awareness of restorative justice and other victim programmes after Ray and Vi Donovan met their son’s killers. What further steps will the Department take to expand restorative justice programmes to help to reduce prisoner reoffending?

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for bringing this organisation to my attention, not least because last night, I read Ray and Vi Donovan’s booklet “Understanding Restorative Justice”, and their very moving testimony of what happened to them. They have an incredible capacity for forgiveness, having forgiven their son’s killers, who perpetrated an appalling act, depriving them of the life of their child. They found it in themselves to forgive those three criminals, as they were then, and to move on with their lives. I will be more than happy to consider what more we can do in this area as we move towards our plans for rehabilitating offenders, and I would be honoured to meet Ray and Vi, if my hon. Friend is willing to bring them to Westminster when normal life resumes.