Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Lord McNally today announced significant reforms for women offenders which will improve family relationships and employment opportunities, and aim to reduce the rates of reoffending.
The reforms will provide employment opportunities for low risk offenders.
Prison service staff will be responsible for forging links with local employers and providing practical training so offenders are able to join the workforce on release.
Next year we will be piloting a new open unit at HMP Styal focused on helping women into jobs on release. Only thoroughly risk-assessed female offenders would be eligible to be located there.
These reforms will help build on a falling female prison population, down by 10 per cent since 2010, alongside falling crime rates.
Commenting, Lord McNally said:
“When a female offender walks out of the prison gates, I want to make
sure she never returns.
“Keeping female prisoners as close as possible to their homes, and importantly their children, is vital if we are to help them break the pernicious cycle of re-offending.
“And providing at least a year of support in the community, alongside the means to find employment on release, will give them the best possible chance to live productive, law abiding lives.”