Press release

Search begins to find best organisations to tackle high reoffending rates

A competition was launched today with more than 700 organisations from across the world looking to turn offenders’ lives around, as part of an annual £450 million package of rehabilitation contracts across England and Wales.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Chris Grayling MP

A competition was launched today with more than 700 organisations from across the world looking to turn offenders’ lives around, as part of an annual £450 million package of rehabilitation contracts across England and Wales.

This includes hundreds of British organisations, employing many thousands of people, who are ready to get to work tackling our stubbornly high reoffending rates, that see almost half of all offenders leaving prison going onto reoffend within a year.

Voluntary sector organisations will play a big role in our plans, with 399 having expressed interest. Many Small and Medium Enterprises are also ready to link-up with other organisations to deliver our reforms. They sit alongside around 30 potential larger organisations ready to partner with smaller organisations to help break the cycle of reoffending.

Public service mutuals – businesses that are run or owned by their employees – also have the opportunity to play an important role in the delivery of new rehabilitation contracts, with eight spin outs covering eleven probation trusts preparing to bid for services.

The competition has already created an unprecedented level of interest from various market sectors compared to any previous Ministry of Justice competition.

Contracts have been split across 20 regions for England and one for Wales with responsibility for supervising and rehabilitating 225,000 low and medium risk offenders each year.

Providers will only be paid in full if they are successful at reducing reoffending, helping drive innovation and getting best value for hard working taxpayers.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“Today marks a crucial step forward to finally cracking our stubbornly high reoffending rates.

“Each year around 600,000 crimes are committed by those who have already broken the law – that is a dreadful figure and I am determined to bring it down.

“The scale of interest in these contracts from so many diverse and creative organisations is extremely encouraging. This is great news for the public who will finally benefit from the best of the private and voluntary sectors, working together with the public sector, to cut reoffending.”

Alongside the competition launch, a Target Operating Model was also published today setting out the full details of our reforms and how they will bring down reoffending rates.

It explains the role for the National Probation Service (NPS), a new public sector organisation tasked with supervising and rehabilitating 31,000 high risk offenders each year, and how it will work alongside the 21 contract package areas.

It also reveals we are working closely with the Probation Association and Probation Chiefs’ Association to create a new national Institute of Probation. Our intention would be for this to be a centre of excellence for anyone working in offender rehabilitation, and a platform to share best practice and innovation across the profession. This might include experts from across the sector holding workshops and classes for frontline staff, to help them improve their knowledge, keep the public safe and turn offenders away from crime for good.

This comes as a report out today titled “Transforming Rehabilitation: a summary of evidence on reducing reoffending” helps to show providers what works when it comes to tackling reoffending.

A key part of our reforms will see a greater use of mentoring, with reformed offenders meeting prisoners at the gate on their release and guiding them through their first weeks and months in the community.

Forty seven existing mentoring organisations, and a further 12 who are interested in building capacity, have shown interest in helping us reform offenders coming out of prison.

Notes to editors:

  1. The competition will continue through 2014 with contracts awarded and mobilised by 2015.
  2. For a copy of the Target Operating Model please go to the Transforming Rehabilitation competition page.
  3. All offenders will be given initial risk assessments by the new National Probation Service. If a low or medium risk offender becomes high risk, contract providers will escalate the offender to the NPS.
  4. View a copy of “Transforming Rehabilitation: a summary of evidence on reducing reoffending”
  5. For further information please contact the Ministry of Justice press office on 020 3334 3536.
Published 19 September 2013