Justice Secretary to suggest mentor system for newly released inmates
Inmates in England and Wales should be given mentoring upon their release from prison to stop re-offending says the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling.
In his speech, Grayling will outline plans for each inmate to be helped with re-housing, rehabilitation and training opportunities by a mentor. The plan would be co-ordinated on a voluntary basis but mentors would begin to be paid if re-offending rates were to drop.
Only prisoners who have spent over a year in prison are currently offered rehabilitation but the Prime Minister would like to see all, except a small amount of high-risk inmates, mentored by the end of 2015.
Re-offending is top of Chris Grayling’s agenda as half of all adult prisoners are re-convicted within a year of release from prison: “I want [released prisoners] to be met at the prison gate, to have a place to live sorted out, to have rehab or training lined up, and above all someone who knows where they are, what they are doing, and can be a wise friend to prevent them from re-offending,” Grayling told the BBC.
Despite welcoming the idea, probation officers doubted there would be enough volunteers to make the plan work; 87,000 inmates were released in the last 12 months, between the months of July 2011 and June 2012.