A new payment-by-results system will see a range of non-government organisations offered thousands of pounds if they manage to rehabilitate prisoners.
David Cameron will announce that all prisoners will have to be given help with rehabilitation over the next few years, rather than just those serving more than a year in prison as is currently the situation.
The payment by results concept will be modelled on the Government’s scheme to get the long-term unemployed back to work with the help of intensive private-sector support.
The PM has had a difficult week, with confusion over energy policy and Andrew Mitchell quitting as chief whip and Cameron faced criticism from within his party for his handling of the row between Mr Mitchell and a police officer outside Downing Street, and this is thought to be a way to try and regain some of his waining popularity.
Cameron will say that he wants such rehabilitation programmes to become “the norm rather than the exception” for all but the most high-risk prisoners by the end of 2015.
Personal responsibility is at the heart of the criminal justice system, he will stress, and that means long prison sentences are the only “thinkable” punishment for certain serious offenders.
Echoing comments made by Tony Blair in the 1990s, Mr Cameron will say the government must “think hard about dealing with the causes of crime” not just the results of crime, which means more emphasis on crime prevention and, at a time when budgets are being cut and prison numbers are stretched, priority being given to reducing re-offending.
Private firms and charities must be given an expanded role to work with all prisoners, not just those in prison for a year or more, he will say, while the model of payments by results for such firms must be accelerated.
I say let’s use that time we have got these people inside to have a proper positive impact on them… it is not a case of ‘prison works’ or ‘prison does not work’ – we need to make prison work better.
And once people are on the outside, let’s stick with them, and give then proper support.
Mr Grayling said:
We have to do this differently. We have got people coming back out onto the streets after prison who are as likely to re-offend again as not to re-offend. We have got to do things differently.
The benefit of a payment-by-results system is it forces the organisations working with you to look for what really does work because they don’t get paid unless they do.
Labour said the coalition had cut police numbers and budgets, circumscribed judges and “let victims down”.
Shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan, said:
If the government’s going to make a serious announcement this week he (David Cameron) should explain why he’s done nothing for the last 29 months and he’s got to explain how these policies are going to be paid for.
Source: BBC News, Telegraph