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Volume 743: debated on Tuesday 9 January 2024

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his question. Between 2010-11 and 2020-21, the overall proven reoffending rate decreased from 31.6% to 24.4%. The Government continue to take action to drive down the reoffending rate even further by investing in initiatives to get more offenders into work, stable accommodation and substance misuse treatment on their release.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right; the key to rehabilitation and ending reoffending is employment and stable accommodation. He has spoken already about purposeful activity today, but may I ask him to look at making the subsistence payment available to all prisoners on release, because that would ensure access to the sort of settled accommodation that is required?

My hon. Friend makes an interesting suggestion. I am happy to meet him, if that would be helpful, to discuss further his ideas.

I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, which concerns my involvement with organisations related to addiction and recovery.

I acknowledge the positives of rolling out incentivised substance-free living wings, but they do not offer recovery as part of the process. Recovery wings offer a far greater chance of rehabilitation as they get people into recovery while they are in prison and before they are released. Currently, there are only seven planned across the prison estate, and I think that it will take Ministers to challenge civil servants and NHS fundholders to see those rolled out. Will the Minister examine the benefits of expanding recovery wings across the whole of the prison estate?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for both his question and the tone in which he asks it. He is absolutely right to highlight the importance of this scheme. As he will be aware, those seven wings are a relatively new step forward. We are seeing how they operate. I think, if I recall, they were initiated by the former Deputy Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Esher and Walton (Dominic Raab), when he was in post in the Ministry of Justice. I continue to look at this very carefully, but I am watching to see how those wings operate first, but I do so with an open mind.