In the Media

David Cameron: we need tough but intelligent approach to criminal justice

PUBLISHED October 22, 2012

Private companies, charities and voluntary organisations will be paid if they stop criminals reoffending under plans for a "rehabilitation revolution" outlined by the Prime Minister today.

David Cameron announced that all prisoners will have to be given help with rehabilitation over the next few years, rather than just those serving more than a year in prison as is currently the situation.

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A new payment-by-results system will see a range of non-government organisations offered thousands of pounds if they manage to rehabilitate prisoners. It will be modelled on the Government's scheme to get the long-term unemployed back to work with the help of intensive private-sector support.

In his speech today to the Centre for Social Justice in London, Mr Cameron said he wants to introduce a "tough but intelligent" approach to criminal justice.

We're saying to charities, companies and voluntary organisations - come and help us rehabilitate our prisoners," he said. "Give offenders new skills, educate them.

"If they've been in a gang, send a reformed gang member to meet them at the prison gates and take them under their wing. If they're on drugs, try the latest techniques to get them clean. Do whatever it takes to get these people back living decent, productive lives."

He added: "When this Government came to power we were spending £40,000 a year [per criminal] just on banging people up. With payment by results, your money goes into what works - prisoners going straight, crime coming down, our country getting safer."