In the Media

Chris Grayling proposes jail-gate mentors to help cut reoffending

PUBLISHED November 20, 2012

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has set out plans for a major extension of prisoner rehabilitation support provided by voluntary groups and private companies on a payment-by-results basis.

He said that mentors - including reformed offenders, or "old lags" - can help prison-leavers with issues like housing, getting a job and tackling drug and alcohol problems.

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

"Often it will be the former offender gone straight who is best placed to steer the young prisoner back onto the straight and narrow - the former gang member best placed to prevent younger members from rushing straight back to rejoin the gang on the streets.

"There are some really good examples out there of organisations making good use of the old lags in stopping the new ones. We need more of that for the future."