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Prisoners set to move closer to home

NEW DIRECTION: Plans to move prisoners closer to home

OFFENDERS IN England and Wales will be moved to prisons near their home before they are released.

Plans announced by the Ministry of Justice could see "resettlement jails" introduced in a bid to cut re-offending - they would hold male prisoners.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said it would mean those in jail could start "working towards their rehabilitation" from the moment they are imprisoned.

He said that the current system is "hopeless".

Northwest England will trial the new system with plans for 70 such prisons of this sort to be tested.

Prisoners serving 12-month sentences or under will serve all of their time in a resettlement prison and receive a "tailored package of supervision and support" on their release.

Grayling added: “"Rehabilitation in the community must begin behind the prison walls and follow offenders out through the gates if we are to stand a chance of freeing them from a life of crime."

"It is little wonder we have such high re-offending rates when you have a prisoner leaving HMP Liverpool, given a travel permit to get them home to the south coast, and then expected to simply get on with it."

The Labour government welcomes the idea of resettlement prisons in principle, but said the plans were "another example of reality being very different from rhetoric".

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said: "These plans amount to a substantial reorganisation of our prisons system and it's not clear how it will be funded.”

Women prisoners are not covered by the plans and are subject to a separate review, which will report later this year.

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