Breaking the Cycle:
Reducing Reoffending
John Hall
[email protected]
Deputy Director, Reducing Reoffending Portfolio
What is the problem?
● Reoffending is high with a lack of accountability within the system and too
much central control
● Sentencing is too complex and too difficult for the public to understand
● The justice system needs to contribute to the deficit reduction plan
● Reoffending imposes a significant cost to society and the CJS. The NAO
estimate £7-£10 billion for short term offenders alone
What is the extent of the problem?
● Just over a quarter of offenders go on to re-offend within a year (a pretty stable
trend for the past decade)
● For ex-prisoners, the picture is even worse (46.9% reoffend within 1 year, up to
56.6% for short sentenced prisoners)
● Recently published reoffending figures however show some progress in respect
of prolific offenders (adults with 25 or more previous offences show a fall of 3.5
percentage points in 2010), offenders receiving courts orders (a fall of 3.7
percentage points) and 21 to 24 year olds (a fall of 3.2 percentage points)
● Recent MOJ research findings due to be published next month tend to confirm
that lack of work, poor education, unstable accommodation and family ties and
poor health are linked to re-offending; and that early intervention may prevent a
criminal career downstream.
The Breaking the Cycle Green Paper
Published in December 2010
Consultation ran until 4 March 2011
Over 1,200 responses received
Government response published on 21 June and introduced the Legal
Aid, Sentencing, and the Punishment of Offenders Bill
Responses helped shape policy on reforming the criminal justice system
What did the Green Paper say?
The Green Paper covered the following themes:
● Punishment and Payback
● Rehabilitating offenders to reduce crime
● Payment by results
● Sentencing
● Working with communities to reduce crime
● Youth justice
Government response
Prisons to be places of meaningful work and training
Overhaul community sentences
Reparation / financial penalties
Restorative Justice
Community Payback
Get offenders off drugs and alcohol for good
Address offenders mental health problems
Get more offenders into work and settled housing
Competition and payment by results
Integrated Offender Management
Taking the rehabilitation programme forward
Focus on the following themes:
● Rehabilitating offenders, particularly through work and tackling
drugs, alcohol and mental health issues
● Reforming the system through payment by results and the probation
Employment and Skills
Approximately 75% of those leaving prison have no job to go to, and two years after
release 47% are claiming out of work benefits
Our Response:
From March 2012 offenders leaving custody and claiming Jobseekers Allowance will go
straight to the Work Programme.
We will also pilot paying Work Programme providers to reduce re-offending.
Reform of offender learning – more focus on employability and links with employers.
Work in Prisons
Too many prisoners are able to pass their time in prison in a state of enforced idleness, with little or no
constructive activity
13% of prisoners in England and Wales have never had a paid job
We want prisons in the UK to become places of meaningful work and training:
• where many more prisoners work for up to 40 hours per week, and possibly beyond
• where money deducted from prisoners earnings is used for reparation
• at no additional burden to the taxpayer
Our plans will increase the number of prisoners engaged in meaningful and productive work within the discipline
of regular working hours, and through improving skills for sustained employment aid rehabilitation on release
A number of prisons have become ‘early adopters’ introducing longer working weeks.
Approximately 55% of those entering prison have a serious drug problem and around
40% of sentenced prisoners have mental health problems
Our Response:
• We are working closely with the Department of Health to reshape drug treatment services
and deliver the commitments outlined in the Breaking the Cycle Green Paper agenda
piloting drug recovery wings and increasing the number of drug free environments;
supporting the development of payment by results approaches for recovery;
working with the Department of Health and other Government departments to develop a
new Alcohol Strategy;
rolling out liaison and diversion services in police custody suites and at courts by 2014
(subject to business case approval);
exploring options for intensive, treatment based alternatives to custody; and
creating more flexible and robust community sentences
Health: Getting offenders off drugs and alcohol
Drug Recovery Wings
• focus on short sentenced offenders. Promote abstinence and being drug free and connect
offenders with community drug recovery services on release.
Drug and Alcohol Recovery pilots
• Support DH to co-design to design and implement pilots in eight local areas to assess
whether paying on the basis of results can further incentivise the delivery of recovery,
including reducing offending.
More effective and robust community sentences
• increase the use and allow greater flexibility of drug rehabilitation requirement (DRR) and
alcohol treatment requirement (ATR) requirements
Alcohol Strategy
• Working closely with the Department of Health and other government departments to develop
the alcohol strategy.
Health: Early identification of offenders mental health problems
Liaison and diversion
• Working with the DH and the Home Office to deliver the Governments commitment to diverting offenders with
mental health problems from criminal justice system at the earliest opportunity, where appropriate.
Exploring options for intensive, treatment based alternatives to custody
• looking to test options for intensive community-based treatment alternatives to custody for offenders, including
those with mental health issues or drug dependency.
More effective and robust community sentences
• making it easier for courts to use the mental health treatment requirement as part of community orders by
simplifying the assessment process and ensure that those who require treatment receive it as early as
Payment by results to reduce reoffending
The Coalition Agreement:
We will move to a new approach to pay providers to reduce reoffending, paid for by the
savings this will generate for the criminal justice system
What are the principles of PBR?
• Focus on outcomes
• Transfer risk, the commissioner pays for what works
• Enable innovation
• Diversify the market
• Measurable
Payment by results – progress to date
Phase I – testing the concept
Peterborough Social Impact Bond (Social Finance)
Doncaster Prison pilot (Serco)
Justice reinvestment pilots (Greater Manchester and 5 London Boroughs)
Pilots planned in the public sector prison estate
Two community pilots
Piloting as part of the DWP Work programme
Innovation pilots
Phase II – implementation at scale
Increasing the focus on outcomes for all providers by 2013
Implementing the principles across the system by 2015
Probation Review
● The MoJ is taking forward a review of probation services aimed at delivering more
effective and efficient services.
● The purpose of this work is to set a clear long term direction for probation services
which is consistent with the Government’s priorities for wider reform of the justice sector,
including increased competition, taking forward payment by results and changes to wider
structures and accountabilities at local level.
● The review is also contributing to the work we are doing to find further efficiencies
across all justice services.
● We intend to consult on our proposals shortly.
Breaking the Cycle:
Reducing Reoffending
John Hall
[email protected]
Deputy Director, Reducing Reoffending Portfolio

Breaking the cycle: Reducing reoffending