Monday, 8 February 2016

Great news PM focusing on prison reform: putting governors in charge, reforming education and ranking our prisons

I have long campaigned on prison reform and am really proud our PM is taking up the cause.
Explaining the need for reform in what No 10 is describing as the first speech from a prime minister focusing solely on prisons since John Major in the 1990s, Cameron will say: “The failure of our system today is scandalous.”
“Forty-six per cent of all prisoners will reoffend within a year of release; 60% of short-sentenced prisoners will reoffend within the same period. And current levels of prison violence, drug taking and self-harm should shame us all.
“In a typical week, there will be almost 600 incidents of self-harm; at least one suicide; and 350 assaults, including 90 on staff. This failure really matters.”
He will argue that reoffending costs the country up to £13bn a year. But Cameron will also make a moral case for a renewed focus on cutting reoffending through education and rehabilitation, saying that for too long governments have adopted an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to prisons.
“When I say we will tackle our deepest social problems and extend life chances, I want there to be no no-go areas. And that includes the 121 prisons in our country, where our social problems are most acute and people’s life chances are most absent,” he will say.
Even the Guardian approves:
If you want to read more my book on prison reform, Doing Time, is still available in all good book shops.