James Sunderland highlights importance of probation service

James Sunderland highlights the importance of supporting former prisoners and reducing reoffending and seeks Government commitment for support for the probation service and the work they do.


James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

What steps his Department is taking to reduce reoffending. (911687)

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lucy Frazer)

We are committed to cutting crime and reducing reoffending. A total of 80% of people in our prisons have reoffended, so if we want to cut crime we absolutely need to stop reoffending. In the past two weeks, we have announced a transformative cross-governmental package to address the underlying causes of reoffending: £80 million to increase the number of drug treatment places for prison leavers; and £70 million investment to cut reoffending by supporting people from prison into accommodation.

James Sunderland 

It is important to support former prisoners, who sadly include ex-armed forces personnel, to ensure that they do not reoffend. Can my hon. and learned Friend please reassure me that her Department is committed to supporting probation services and the fine work that they do?

Lucy Frazer 

I am very pleased to commend the work of the probation service, which has been doing important work at this time. We are supporting it with the finances that it needs, with increased funding of an additional £155 million per year, making a total of more than £1 billion for our probation services. That will enable us to recruit 1,500 additional probation officers next year. The investment will also allow us to help people from custody into the community and create specialist short-sentence teams so that prisoners get help before and after they go through the gate.