Social Finance welcomes today’s announcement from the Coalition Government focusing on prisoner rehabilitation and the offering of much needed resources towards rehabilitating short-sentenced offenders across the UK.

We encourage the Secretary of State for Justice to look beyond the Probation budget to finance this work.  The criminal justice system costs the taxpayer £6.3 billion a year. At present we spend 13p in the pound on probation and rehabilitation, and 87p in the pound on locking people up. With more resources, better rehabilitation could cut crime and reduce wider criminal justice costs. The allocation of resources between these two areas should therefore be part of this consultation. This is possible as any new money would be paid on a results only basis. Without adequate resources, it will be difficult to ensure that support for rehabilitation is delivered properly and at scale.

The voluntary sector already makes a significant contribution to offender rehabilitation providing both general and specialist services inside and outside prison. We hope that the proposals being considered by the Government will allow the voluntary and community organisations to play an even greater role in the rehabilitation revolution. It is vital that their work is done in partnership with statutory services.  But it is just as important that all providers receive sufficient funding to carry out their work properly and are incentivised to work across the prisoner population.

The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, which Social Finance launched in 2010, shows how public, private and voluntary sectors can work in partnership to ensure the effective delivery of rehabilitation services.  First results from the Peterborough Social Impact Bond are expected in the first quarter of 2014.

We look forward to working with all the parties to promote the rehabilitation of offenders across the UK and to drive more funding to preventative work.

For more information, please contact Alisa Helbitz, Director of Communications on 020 7667 6388 or 07500 433 044.

Notes to Editors:

1)     Our analysis, taken from Ministry of Justice Annual Report and Accounts 2011-2012, shows that the UK spends annually £3.9bn on National Offender Management Service, including prisons and probation, £1.4 billion on HM Court Costs, £1.0 billion on legal aid in criminal cases: £1.4bn and £800m on Probation.

2)     Social Finance raised £5 million from social investors in the Peterborough Social Impact Bond which allows for the organisations to be paid in advance for the work they deliver. The voluntary organisations are not paid according to the outcomes they achieve. It is the responsibility of the Social Impact Bond manager to ensure that the outcomes are achieved and the investors receive a return on their initial investment.  The Government does not pay out anything until the minimum reduction in reconviction events is achieved. Risk of failure is held by investors, not the providers or the tax payer.

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