Changes to rules for prisoner release on temporary licence welcomed

By agency reporter
May 29, 2019

The Ministry of Justice has announced a change in the rules to allow prison Governors greater autonomy to grant Release on Temporary Licence to offenders, following a rigorous risk assessment. The Ministry says this will allow prisoners more opportunities to work and train with employers while serving their sentence, and increase their chances of securing an immediate job on release. Research shows time spent working in the community before release significantly reduces a prisoner’s likelihood of reoffending – potentially saving £15 billion each year and helping to keep the public safer. Ex-offenders in employment are up to nine percentage points less likely to commit further crime.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: “This is a welcome step in the right direction. More than three years after it was first promised, the government has finally delivered a significant shift towards the greater use of temporary release, recognising its proven benefits in terms of preparing prisoners for a crime free life.

"Prisoners, employers, families and the public at large will all benefit from these changes, building on an exceptional track record of success. There is much further to go—prisoners are serving longer sentences than ever before, and these changes will mainly benefit only the minority who have managed to get to an open prison towards the very end of their time inside. Ministers should not wait a further three years before taking the next step."

* Read the Ministry of Justice announcement here

* Prison Reform Trust http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/

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