CONSERVATIVES PLAN TO REWARD PRISONS “BY RESULTS”
A Tory ‘green paper’ offers a radical “payment by results” scheme to help rehabilitate offenders. It would trigger cash rewards for prisons if inmates stay on the straight and narrow after release.
The proposals come days after the prison population hit a record 82,180, topping the official maximum operating capacity.
Cameron described the proposals as “ensuring that prisoners both make restitution to society for their crimes and leave prison with better skills and prospects than they had when they entered”. He said the plans would transform prisons from “warehouses” to “places of education, hard work, rehabilitation and restoration”.
An “honesty in sentencing” policy would require judges and magistrates to hand down prison sentences carrying a minimum and maximum term, with convicts earning early release through good behaviour, work and rehabilitation behind bars rather than automatically qualifying after half their time.
Conservative leader David Cameron said the prisons were “in crisis”, but Justice Secretary Jack Straw denied he was losing sleep over the issue. He said he could not rule out an extension of his early release programme for prisoners nearing the end of their term to ease pressure on places over the coming months, but hoped it would not be necessary.