We work closely with the prison and probation services (now brought together in the new National Offender Management Service) looking at resettlement issues for offenders being released from prison. We  also worked with the LGA who published “Going Straight” focusing on the role of Local Government in reducing re-offending.

Within the geographical area of the Thames Valley, there are seven prisons. In total these prisons discharge approximately 3000 offenders back into the community.

Reducing re-offending by released prisoners is central to reducing crime and is therefore part of the Prison Service’s core business of protecting the public. Prisoners must be held securely and in a safe, decent and healthy environment, however prison must also rehabilitate and resettle them by providing them with the skills and motivation to rebuild their lives so that they will not re-offend.

Prisoners are much less likely to re-offend if they have sustained employment and stable accommodation on release, however securing such resettlement outcomes often involves tackling deep- seated problems of social exclusion, including: –

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Substance misuse
  • Family ties

A recent study by the Social Exclusion Unit concludes that: –

  • 60% of those released will reoffend within two years (75% for those aged 21 and under)
  • 42% will leave prison with no fixed abode
  • Homeless ex offenders are twice as likely to reoffend
  • 66% are currently ineligible for 96% of jobs due to their level of literacy and numeracy
  • 125,000 children in the UK have a parent in custody on any one day

The Home Office have now produced the NOMS Action Plan which focuses on the key pathways to resettlement. We are contributing to the South East Resettlement Strategy and the Resettlement Sub-group of the Thames Valley Criminal Justice Board.

The Thames Valley Partnership is the lead agency for the pathway on strengthening family ties. See Family Matters.

We continue to focus on the role of Crime and Disorder production partnerships in supporting resettlement and hosted a conference “Safe Returns” for NOMS and Local Government partners in December 2004.

For further information please contact

Visit our programme specific sites