Cameron reveals prison rehabilitation reform plans
By Richard Johnstone | 22 October 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that the government will introduce payment-by-results contracts into all aspects of offender rehabilitation in the justice system by 2015.
In a speech on the coalition’s reforms to rehabilitation programmes today, Cameron said the proposals would be ‘tough but intelligent’ in punishing offenders.
Payment-by-result schemes, similar to those used to help unemployed people back to work in the Work Programme, will be used across the criminal justice system, with private and voluntary firms invited to help reduce reoffending.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling revealed at the Conservative Party conference earlier this month that this policy would be extended
. Today, Cameron said these agreements with private sector firms and charities would ensure that public money is spent in the most effective way.
A ‘rehabilitation revolution’ will mean that criminals are properly punished, but also see fewer offenders returning to the system, he added.
‘To achieve that, we’re saying to charities, companies and voluntary organisations: come and help us rehabilitate our prisoners.
‘When this government came to power we were spending £40,000 [per prisoner] a year just on banging people up. With payment-by-results, your money goes into what works: prisoners going straight, crime coming down, our country getting safer.’
Payment-by-results schemes will now be extended to prisoners serving short sentences and not limited to offenders who have been jailed for a year or more as happens now, he added.
‘It’s such a good idea I want to put rocket boosters under it. By the end of 2015, I want to see payment-by-results spread right across rehabilitation.’
Many prisons contain ‘young men who can’t read, teenagers on drugs, people who’ve never worked a day in their life’, he said in a speech at Wormwood Scrubs prison.
‘These people need help so they can become part of the solution and not remain part of the problem.
‘It’s not a case of “prison works” or “prison doesn’t work”– we need to make prison work. And once people are on the outside, let’s stick with them, let’s give them proper support, because it’s not outer space we’re releasing these people into – it’s our streets, our towns, among our families and our children.’