I am puzzled that John Kampfner (Labour's back on the right, 6 November) accuses me of attacking the rehabilitative elements in the prime minister's recent crime and justice speech. I am on record as being supportive of attempts to reduce reoffending, backed up by evidence of what works. I am committed to expanding the use of restorative justice, creating a Women's Justice Board to reduce reoffending and driving down crime by reforming those guilty of committing a criminal offence. Where I am critical of the prime minister is that his speech was billed as a fresh new approach, but was instead full of rehashed announcements. The one major new policy ? rehabilitation payment by results ? fails my evidence-based policy test. Ongoing pilots ? some started under Labour ? have been ditched or simply ignored.
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