During Justice Questions I asked the Minister of State how he was expected to achieve his laudable objectives of skills training in prisons and employment once ex-offenders have left the prison system. If implemented correctly these two objectives will cut re offending – making our streets safer – and prove a helpful boost to our economy – with businesses being able to benefit from ex offender employees.
The main problem the Government faces is a shortage of prison officers. The Minister stated that 2,250 prison officers were employed last year. This does not address the staffing crisis in prisons. If we are truly going to revolutionise our prison system we need more and better equipped prison officers and prison governors need more guidance on how to implement these plans.
As part of my work on the House of Commons Justice Select Committee I hear well intentioned evidence from government officials, but the seem unable to put in place practical measures to make these intentions come into fruition. We need radical reform in prisons to cut re offending and to address the UKs chronic skills shortage.