Rt Hon Chris Grayling outlines Ministry of Justice plans for Resettlement Prisons.
The “Through the Gate” initiative will involve offenders once sentenced being directed to one of the 70 resettlement prisons. At this point according to their sentence, prisoners will either remain in a resettlement prison if they have a shorter sentence or they will move to alternative prison accommodation if it is longer. Prisoners with short sentences will serve their entire custody in resettlement prison and whilst there they will have access to a number of services to assist with rehabilitation once they have completed their sentence. Those prisoners who have been serving longer sentences elsewhere will be transferred to resettlement prisons for the last three months of their sentence to assist with integration back into the community.
This initiative is in line with the plans contained within the Offender Rehabilitation Bill which is currently before Parliament, which extend rehabilitation support to 50,000 short-sentenced offenders each year. From the information distributed, I understand that trials for Resettlement Prisons will begin in the North West of England this autumn.
I think the proposals outlined by the Ministry of Justice are a very good idea. Offenders with short sentences are the most likely to reoffend and there is not an adequate support framework in place to assist them once they leave prison. Hopefully the Ministry of Justice’s new initiative will deal with this issue helping ex-offenders back into a normal life once they finish their sentence and to stop them offending again .