Managing seems to be a very popular word at the moment, especially where offenders are concerned. A clear example is the latest Transforming Rehabilitation: A revolution in the way we manage offenders, a consultation paper detailing the Government’s proposals for reforming the delivery of offender services. This paper is available to download at: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/transforming-rehabilitation. The period of consultation runs from 9th Jan to 22nd Feb 2013.
Page 13 is very apt:
“Successful bidders will be responsible for delivering requirements of community orders or licence conditions. They will also be incentivised through payment by results to tackle offenders’ life management problems and reduce reoffending. For offenders leaving prison, providers should work with them ‘through the prison gate’, engaging them before their release into the community and maintaining continuous support. This should be linked with the important role that prisons play in the rehabilitation of offenders and in reducing their risk of harm, including efforts to increase the number of prisoners working while in custody.”
To achieve this successfully will involve an incredible amount of resources not just in terms of money but would need an army of volunteers. In a period of cut backs voluntary organisations are already stretched whilst private companies are focused on making money!
According to the East Anglian Daily Times up to 20% of prisoners in HMP Highpoint are underemployed. This amounts to around 260 prisoners. However, Andrew Neilson, Howard League for Penal Reform, stated “It is important that prisoners are engaged in purposeful activity, but too many at Highpoint are underemployed, meaning they are unlikely to develop skills that will be useful after their release”. And the cycle continues!