Ex-offenders ‘lacking home and job'

  • Inspectors believe that only one in six ex-offenders in England and Wales have both a job and somewhere to live once they are released from prison. Handcuff

    An inspection into resettlement provision for adult prisoners had followed 80 offenders after they left prison. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said that it found the role of a prisoner's family in their resettlement to be overlooked, reports the BBC.

    The inspection said family relationships were too often seen as a matter of "visits which could be reduced or increased according to an offender's behaviour".

    The report found that only 16% of prisoners had lined up both employment/training and somewhere to live on the day they were released.

    Speaking on behalf of all the inspectorates, Mr Hardwick said the report "absolutely confirms the central importance of an offender's family and friends to their successful rehabilitation".

    "Sometimes an offender's family may be the victims of their crime and sometimes they may be a negative influence," he said. "However, overwhelmingly, this inspection confirmed our view that an offender's family are the most effective resettlement agency. Where possible resettlement work should include helping the offender and his or her family maintain or rebuild relationships, an assessment of the support a family is able and willing to provide and, where appropriate, involvement of the family in plans for release."

    Justice Minister Andrew Selous said it was "crucial that offenders have the right support in place when they are released".

    He said the government was "creating a nationwide network of resettlement prisons that will mean, for the first time, the vast majority of offenders will be held and released into the area where they will live and be supervised. I strongly believe that families have an important role to play in helping offenders turn their backs on crime, and these reforms will be crucial in enabling families to play their full role in the resettlement process."

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