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Chris Grayling reveals prison rehabilitation plans

Report by Lindsay Brown, Video by Tom Ellis

The Justice Secretary is set to provide more support for prison leavers, saying there is not enough "focus on stopping re-offending".

Chris Grayling has set out plans for a major extension of mentoring provided by voluntary groups and private companies on a payment-by-results basis.

In a speech, he said: "Whether you are the hardest of hardliners on crime, or the most liberal observer, every single one of us has a vested interest in an enlightened approach to reducing reoffending.

"We can't just keep recycling people round and round the system."

David Cameron has called for a "rehabilitation revolution" under which virtually all prisoners get help breaking the cycle of reoffending.

Currently only those who are jailed for more than a year are given rehabilitation, but the Prime Minister wants all but a small number of high-risk prisoners receive support by the end of 2015.

Mr Grayling said: "When someone leaves prison, I want them already to have a mentor in place to help them get their lives back together."

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said the numbers do not add up.

He said: "It is not possible when the Ministry of Justice is losing a quarter of its budget and thousands of prison and probation officers are losing their jobs.

"If Chris Grayling is proposing to include an additional 50,000 jail-leavers in rehabilitation programmes and to have an army of more than 60,000 mentors, then he needs to come clean about how this will be funded.

"If it means that resources for existing rehabilitation programmes are going to be cut further or spread more thinly to pay for it, the fear is under-resourced rehabilitation programmes won't be effective in stopping jail-leavers from returning to a life of crime."

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