New prisons inspector criticises resettlement of offenders

The resettlement of offenders is not given high enough priority
and suffers from lack of co-ordination the new chief inspector of
prisons says in her first report, writes Clare

Anne Owers says good practice is evident in the area of
resettlement, but there is little continuity and no overall
strategy, says the report.

Short-term prisoners, who are the most numerous, have the
greatest needs and are the most likely to re-offend, are severely
neglected. Prisoners often leave custody ill-equipped to function
properly in the community, without having addressed their offending
behaviour, says the report, ‘Through the Prison Gate’, jointly
published by Owers and the chief inspector of probation Professor
Rod Morgan.

The reports says: “Unless something is done to tackle the causes
of offending behaviour, and the social and economic exclusion from
which it commonly springs, and to which it contributes, prisons
will continue to have revolving doors and the public will not in
the long term be protected.”

It highlights changes already made such as the establishment of
the national correctional and policy framework and the common
assessment method for both services.

The home office should provide risk and need assessments,
interventions for drug and alcohol misuse, and appropriate
interventions to raise offenders’ motivation to change, in
order to address the position of short-term prisoners, the report

Educational and vocational opportunities and assistance with
housing, debt and relationship difficulties should also be

‘Through the Prison Gate’ is available at










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