Mark calls for expansion of education in prisons to reduce reoffending rates

20th September 2016

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she is taking to expand education in prisons to reduce reoffending rates and improve life chances for offenders returning to their communities.

Mr Sam Gyimah, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation: Prisons should be places of safety and reform. I am determined to make sure that we achieve better outcomes for prisoners in employment, education and health. Fewer than half the people entering prisons have basic standards of English and Maths and around a third have identified learning difficulties or disabilities. This is a huge problem because we know that low levels of education can prevent people from securing jobs on release and leading law abiding lives.

On 15 September the Prime Minister announced the transfer of adult prison education in England to the Ministry of Justice from the Department for Education from 1 October. I would like to see governors having more responsibility for delivering education and being held to account for the outcomes prisoners achieve.

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