Solicitor Sarah Hallett highlights some extra measures to keep prison leavers off the streets and stop further crimes, that has been unveiled as part of the Government’s Beating Crime Plan, with a string of other new initiatives to tackle the underlying causes of crime.
Last month a government backed scheme to provide temporary, basic accommodation to prison leavers launched as part of efforts to cut crime and homelessness. With prison leavers without a stable home around 50 per cent more likely to reoffend, over 140 councils across England have also today been awarded a share of more than £13 million to help find longer-term accommodation.
The aim is to cut crime by reducing the number of prison leavers ending up homeless so that they have the foundation to get a job and access treatment for addictions.
Around 80 per cent of those receiving cautions or convictions have offended before, so the Beating Crime Plan also unveils a range of work to get more prison leavers to turn their backs on crime for good by securing employment and entering treatment.
The new levels of support will be underpinned with strict supervision from the newly unified Probation Service. The Government is also increasing the use of electronic monitoring, with plans to use alcohol monitoring tags on prison leavers in Wales initially and extend the GPS tagging of robbers, burglars and thieves to a further 13 police forces this autumn.
The Government also committed to publishing a Drugs Strategy later this year to crack down on recreational drug use. This includes appointing Dame Carol Black as an ongoing adviser on drug misuse and investing an extra £31m to expand Project ADDER – which combines tough law enforcement with increased provision of treatment and recovery services. This support will be targeted towards a further eight local authorities hardest hit by drugs.