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Reduction of Reoffending

Volume 695: debated on Tuesday 18 May 2021

We have innovative and ambitious cross-Government action plans to tackle reoffending as part of our uncompromising mission to cut crime. For example, we are introducing GPS tags for serious acquisitive offenders to track their movements for up to 12 months post release and increasing the length of curfews. In January, we announced a £70 million investment, which included enhancing the Department’s approved premises and providing temporary basic accommodation for prison leavers to keep them off the streets and reduce reoffending.

I thank the Minister for that answer. It is jobs that I am interested in. We know that having a job can reduce a person’s chance of reoffending by up to 50%, so what steps is his Department taking to support young offenders to get on the job ladder? I will give a local example here. We have an excellent “Ban the Box” campaign, which Milton Keynes College supports, to end that cycle of reoffending and offer a chance to young people to turn their lives around.

My hon. Friend has identified, with his usual wisdom, one of the three pillars of success post incarceration: a house, a friend and a job. He is quite right and I congratulate Milton Keynes College on its participation in the “Ban the Box” campaign. The Ministry of Justice has also been pleased to support business in the community at the event marking the remarkable milestone, it tells me, of 1 million roles covered by “Ban the Box” in March this year. We adopted “Ban the Box” in the civil service in 2016 and about 350,000 of those 1 million jobs are now in the civil service. More widely, as part of our approach to revising offender management, we are working very closely with colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions to make sure that those who leave the secure estate have a fair shake in the job market, which, as he rightly said, will go a long way to cutting reoffending.