MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse, has decided to support An Alternative Vision for Prisons, after the PCS union report recommended strengthening the purpose of prisons as places for reform and rehabilitation.
Wera believes whole-heartedly that the country has both a responsibility and an interest in helping offenders turn their lives around. The long-term answer to the UK’s escalating prison overcrowding cannot simply be to build more prisons.
Wera said: “By giving prisoners meaningful work and constructive activities, it will pave the way towards greater reduction in reoffending rates”. This is born out by statistics from across the world, for whilst Norway’s liberal prison system has a 20% chance of recidivism, over 75% of ex-convicts in the USA go back to prison at some point in their lives.
Wera went on to say “I believe that prison officers are best placed to deliver training workshops that are tailored towards prisoners' individual needs and their training should incorporate this new dimension of their work in the future”.
As part of a broader plan to negate the effects of staff shortages and overcrowding, Wera believes the report's recommendations will benefit both the prison system and society overall. As a result, Wera calls on the Government to adopt the proposals put forward in the report.