Release on Temporary License
Crossroads Trust
11

Thanks from Beverley

Thank you The Alchemist for your blog entry. Inside Time, the National Newspaper for Prisoners and Detainees published an article this month by Mark Day, Head of Policy Communications Prison Reform Trust about how RoTL changes are undermining the rehabilitation of prisoners. The Prison Reform Trust have reported that less than 1% of RoTLs fail, and of that small number, only 6.1% of that 1% result in any arrestable offences. So, some might call that a monumental success rate given that is 5 arrests per 100,000 prisoners. It can never be a risk free process, unless you never permit anyone to undertake RoTL, and without careful resettlement and release on temporary licence, you cannot effectively or safely prove the conditions necessary for individuals to adjust to life in the community. The few and tragic crimes committed in 2013 have caused the media this panic, and whilst it is awful that crime happens, the RoTL process is surely safer in terms of testing the commitment of prisoners than in just releasing them at the end of a sentence. Additionally, if life sentence or indeterminate prisoners are ever permitted to leave prison, then RoTL is a vital part of resettlement preparation. Perhaps the question might be asked what do cut backs in the resettlement prisons result in? Is there adequate preparation for prisoners to feel safe and supported in taking RoTL, or are they merely sent out with their piece of paper into our community feeling bewildered, fearful and confused? Having supported one of our lifers at Crossroads Trust, this seemed most certainly to be the case. Luckily he had a supportive family to help reassure him after spending the first one going in and out of a local sports shop, getting stressed and going back into prison early. So Mr Grayling, will this current chaos surrounding RoTL make communities safer? Will it enable prison numbers to reduce? and will it result in less re-offending? no, no and a resounding no. Beverley

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