HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 c1289W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which rehabilitation programmes have been the most effective in reducing the reconviction rate; and what plans he has to extend these programmes to all prisons. [148907]

Paul Goggins

Prisoners are imprisoned for many different kinds of offences, ranging widely in character and seriousness. No one programme is likely to be effective in reducing re-offending on the part of all offenders. The Correctional Services Accreditation Panel accredits programmes which are based on the international evidence about what is likely to be effective in reducing re-offending. Cognitive skills programmes, sex offender treatment programmes, drug treatment programmes and therapeutic communities have all been accredited, as well as programmes designed to address violent offending and domestic violence specifically. These interventions are subject to ongoing evaluation, including research into their impact on reconviction rates.

Over 100 prison establishments currently run accredited programmes and although the overall number is increasing there are no plans at present to extend them to every prison, as they are not suitable for all prisoners, particularly those serving short sentences. All prison establishments, however, are required to provide constructive regimes which address offending behaviour, improve educational and work skills and promote law abiding behaviour in custody and after release. Other activities which support rehabilitation and address prisoners' resettlement needs include learning and skills, prison work, involvement in pre-release programmes, housing advice and support services, Jobcentre Plus prison surgeries and job search training and support.

The establishment of a new single National Offender Management Service will focus on reducing re-offending and equipping offenders to turn away from crime. Regional offender managers will, in the future, be responsible for commissioning offender management services and interventions to reduce re-offending.