Thinktank Onward has suggested in a new report that reoffending rates could be reduced if prisoners were able to spend 40 hours a week or more training or working. The report and recommendations were presented to the prisons minister on 25 June. It has won the support of MPs, businesses and other organisations.
Senior professionals in prisons and in the education sector have long been voicing the opinion that a sole focus on punishing prisoners for their crimes only exacerbates the problem on release and also does the victim no favours either, as the offender is more likely to return to criminal activity. By providing prisoners with proper training, they are far more likely to find work once they’ve served their sentences and settle back into society. In an attempt to improve the situation, the Ministry of Justice has created a jobs plan to help reduce the cost of reoffending, which comes in at a whopping £15b each year. And with over 230 businesses registering to work with prisoners since the launch of the plan, it seems that things could improve for prison education.