Scheme aims to reform criminals

Police cell stock pic
Police cell stock pic

A NEW scheme to cut 
reoffending by people coming out of prison has been launched.

The new approach means people posing a threat of re-offending or who were sentenced to less than 12 months in prison, will work with special diversion officers.

The aim is for offenders whose crimes cause the most harm to be managed in a coordinated manner.

They will get support to break the habits which can lead to their crimes.

Chief Inspector Mark Evans, from Northamptonshire Police, spearheaded the approach. He said: “Offenders who are sentenced to more than 12 months in prison are often released with conditions to engage with probation and police officers in order to assist their rehabilitation.

“However, what we find is that those who receive less than 12 months are not obliged to engage with the authorities.

“Yet this category of offenders often causes the most harm locally and are also more likely to reoffend once released.

“What’s new with this approach is that those who are released from prison after less than 12 months will now be assessed against a number of pathways involving drugs and alcohol support, accommodation support, education, training and employment support, health support, finance and debt assistance, guidance with children and families as well as attitude and behaviour management.

“Anyone of concern who fails to participate in the programme or does reoffend will then be subject to the enforcement arm of policing who will work side by side with this new team.

“We want to make sure that people are given the appropriate chances to integrate back into the community while reducing the risks of reoffending and improving community safety.

“As well as the anguish of victimisation, offending costs society a huge amount of money with everything from insurance or personal loss to court and prison costs.

“It is hoped that the investment in diverting people away from criminality with this joint partnership programme will prove to be a much more cost effective use of public funds.”