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Rehabilitation reforms: Providers behind government agenda announced
A conglomerate of public and voluntary organisations and private companies have been announced as the preferred providers as part of a crucial shakeup to the rehabilitation of offenders.
New partnerships between private companies and some of the country's biggest rehabilitation charities will lead 20 of the 21 contract areas - which group various counties together - to manage and rehabilitate 200,000 low and medium risk offenders.
Half of the preferred bidders chosen by the Ministry of Justice include new "mutual" organisations set up by current probation staff to take over their own organisations. The preferred bidders list includes 16 charities and voluntary organisations, four probation staff "mutual" and seven private companies.
In addition, there are almost 1,000 organisations, including 700 voluntary, community or social enterprises, who have put themselves forward to work with the chosen providers.
Each of the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) will only be paid in full if they are successful at reducing reoffending, helping to drive innovation and getting best value for money.
Previously, the delivery of offender management services was the responsibility of 35 public probation trusts. High risk offenders - those involved in sexual or violent crimes - will still be managed by the public probation service.
This major step forward in the government's reform agenda will see the CRCs draw up a plan for an offender's rehabilitation within the first few days of them entering prison. That organisation will be responsible for supporting that person through their time in prison and will continue as they are released into the community.
How the reforms will help the rehabilitation of offenders
A national network of resettlement prisons is being created to facilitate this seamless management process.
The CRCs will also work with the National Probation Service.
In a statement, a department spokesman said that the proposals by the preferred service providers include greater use of new technologies, new mentoring programmes as well as new rehabilitation activities, and a more targeted service for specific offender groups, such as women or those with mental health problems.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "We cannot go on with a situation where thousands of prisoners are released onto the streets every year with no guidance or support, and are simply left to reoffend. These reforms will transform the way in which we tackle reoffending.
"This new approach will not just redouble our efforts to bring down reoffending. It will also prevent many more people from becoming victims of crime in the future."
The Ministry of Justice is in talks with these suppliers to receive the best and final offers before awarding contracts. Providers are expected to be in place and delivering services in early 2015.
Purple Futures, a mutual provider comprising a private company, a social enterprise and three charities led by Interserve, has been named as the preferred bidder for several contract areas.
Adrian Ringrose, Interserve CEO, said: "By working closely with local businesses, voluntary agencies, local authorities and the police, which are all critical to successful public protection and rehabilitation, we believe we can make a real difference."
Richard Gansheimer, CEO of MTCNovo, another preferred bidder, said: "We will bring together proven techniques, a wealth of UK and international experience and the expertise from the existing UK probation service. This will help support a more broad step approach to rehabilitation which will reduce reoffending as well as helping to enhance the social fabric of the UK."
To see all the preferred service providers, click here.
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