New prison strategy to rehabilitate offenders and cut crime

8 Dec 2021 10:58 AM

The Prisons Strategy White Paper, published on the 7 December 2021, sets out a new plan to deliver the biggest prison-building programme in more than 100 years – creating the right conditions to reform and rehabilitate offenders and ultimately cut crime, keeping streets safe.

Modern jails will cut reoffending and protect the public by giving prisoners the education, skills and addiction support they need to live crime-free lives.

Key measures include:

Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab said:

"We’re building the prisons to incarcerate dangerous and prolific offenders. We’re deploying the tech to stop the flow of drugs, weapons and phones into prisons. And we’re re-orienting the regime to get offenders off drugs for good, and into work – to cut crime, and keep the pubic safe".

This new strategy will be backed by unprecedented investment and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Last month, the government allocated an extra £550 million to reduce reoffending and £3.75 billion to create 20,000 extra prison places across the estate. These will ensure the right modern, innovative and secure conditions are in place to truly rehabilitate offenders and keep the public safe.

The 6 new prisons to be built over the next 5 years will have the latest in technology – meaning more in-cell learning so offenders leave prison with the skills they need to move away from crime and into employment. This will include basic education like maths and English, vocational skills such as IT and engineering, and even driving theory tests so they can get a licence on release – helping them get to and from work.

Frontline staff are also crucial to making the strategy a success, and the White Paper includes a new commitment to recruit an additional 5,000 officers, with 2,400 employed in the next two years, and a new retention programme to keep existing staff.

Prison governors will be given greater autonomy and freedom to run their jails, with new key performance measures and public league tables incentivising the spread of best practice right across the estate in vital areas including security, training and employment and drug and alcohol addiction.

New prisons, such as those currently under construction at Glen Parva, Leicestershire, and HMP Five Wells, Wellingborough, will play a crucial role in cutting crime by training prisoners in the skills of the future, helping them find a job on release and dramatically reducing their chances of reoffending.

These will act as a blueprint for the government’s ambitious prison-build programme, which will create 20,000 modern, rehabilitative places by the mid-2020s.

The White Paper follows the publication of the 10 Year Drugs Strategy yesterday which outlines plans backed by record investment to crack down on supply chains and criminal gangs profiting from the trade in illegal drugs, as well as boost treatment services to get people off the drugs responsible for driving crime in the first place, so that everyone across the country can benefit from the safety and security that comes from a safe neighbourhood.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper can be found here.