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News - 10 January 2013

Transforming Rehabilitation - a revolution in the way we manage offenders?

The Government has published (9.1.2013) its consultation document 'Transforming Rehabilitation' which aims to drive down the rate of reoffending and deliver better value for the taxpayer. By reducing reoffending there will be fewer victims of crime, communities will be safer and less money will be spent on repeat offenders going through the system again and again.

The rates of reoffending are quite staggering. Figures published in the consultation show that for adult offenders released from custody in the year to December 2010 the percentage that reoffended in 12 months was:

  • 57.6% for prisoners sentenced to under 12 months
  • 35.9% for prisoners sentenced to 12 months or more
  • 34.1% for those starting a court order

Even those who do not reoffend in the first 12 months will go onto to commit further offences. For adults released from custody in 2000, 45.8% reoffended within a year. This rose to 66.1% within 3 years and 75.2% within 5 years.

At present, offenders with a supervision / licence requirement are supervised by the Probation Service who will undertake work to address the root causes of the offending and reduce the risk to the public. The proposals set out in this consultation will see Probation still retaining the accountability for public protection with external providers (from the private and voluntary / community sector) being paid by results to rehabilitate offenders.

Offenders who receive a short custodial sentence at present, leave prison without any supervision requirement. The intention is to give the courts powers to impose a supervision on release requirement on short sentences which will allow meaningful rehabilitative work to address the root causes of offending and continue work that may have been started in prison.

The offenders that pose the highest risk to the community will continue to receive direct management from the Probation Service.

The full version of the consultation document is available here 

A fuller briefing on the document can be found here


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