PET responds to Justice Committee report: "rehabilitation starts in custody"

22 Jan 2014

PET welcomes today’s interim report by the Justice Select Committee about the proposed probation and prison reforms but says a greater emphasis must be placed on joining this up with rehabilitation in custody.

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, PET, said:

“Many organisations like us working in criminal justice have some deep concerns about how the Transforming Rehabilitation proposals are implemented and this report raises some crucial red flags and questions that need to be addressed.

“But any efforts made by companies or charities to help ex-prisoners break free from crime won’t work unless people are also supported during their sentence. So we want to see more being done to help prisoners use their time to learn, which we know from the latest evidence reduces a person’s likelihood of reoffending by a quarter.

“In partnership with 16 other organisations on the Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA), PET has set out how this can be achieved through a smarter approach to rehabilitation. And it is essential that different agencies join up; the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions and others all have a role in helping someone to stay on the straight and narrow.

“We hope that the final JSC report will push for improved rehabilitation in prison, better coordination between prisons and the new probation system and across the Government so that these policies are all working toward the same outcomes to help people move away from crime.”

Editor's Notes

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The Justice Committee’s Twelfth Report of Session 2013-14, Crime reduction policies: a co-ordinated approach? Interim report on the Government's Transforming Rehabilitation programme is to be published on the committee’s website at: 

PET raised many of the concerns in the Justice Select Committee’s report in its original response to the Transforming Rehabilitation consultation. It has worked with 16 other organisations on the Prisoner Learning Alliance to suggest some solutions to these issues in its new report Smart Rehabilitation.

New analysis carried out by the Ministry of Justice proves students supported by Prisoners Education Trust were less likely to reoffend than similar prisoners. This report was carried out by the MoJ Justice Data Lab.

About PET

This year Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) celebrates its 25th anniversary. The charity was set up in HMP Wandsworth by a prison teacher and a barrister in 1989 who wanted to offer a wider range of courses to prisoners. That year, PET helped 12 people, now the charity supports approx. 2,000 each year to study distance learning courses across England and Wales. The charity does this by providing advice and funding for prisoners keen to study subjects and levels not generally available in prisons. PET also carries out research, informed by prisoner learners, to improve prison education.

In 2012 PET launched the Prisoner Learning Alliance to work together with 18 other expert organisations to champion learning for people in prison.