VICTORIA SPEAKS IN DEBATE ON PRISONERS
On 26 April, Victoria spoke in the Commons to ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Andrew Selous, what progress had been made to ensure prisoners were engaged in meaningful work. Victoria, a member of the Justice Committee, went on to ask more specifically about the work being done to rehabilitate young offenders.
The below account is taken from the official House of Commons Hansard for 26 April 2016
Victoria Prentis (Banbury) (Con): What progress his Department has made on ensuring that offenders are engaged in meaningful work in prison.
Dr James Davies (Vale of Clwyd) (Con): What progress his Department has made on ensuring that offenders are engaged in meaningful work in prison.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Andrew Selous): We want prisons to be places of hard work and high ambition. That is why we will give governors more autonomy and hold them to account by publishing employment outcomes for prisoners so that we can compare results between prisons.
Victoria Prentis: We know how beneficial employment is for the rehabilitation of young adult offenders, in particular. Will my hon. Friend advise the House on specific plans that he has to increase employment in this cohort?
Andrew Selous: I know how seriously my hon. Friend takes this issue, and she is right to do so. I point her, particularly for young offenders, to construction, where I think that there are huge opportunities. For example, the National Grid young offender scheme has a 10-year reoffending rate of less than 7%. I was with Balfour Beatty, which employs young ex-offenders, in a prison in North Yorkshire last Thursday. We now have two Land Securities construction academies, comprising dry lining, scaffolding and tunnelling. I am assured that the last two activities have been risk assessed. [Laughter.]