A ground-breaking Local Partnership Agreement has been signed by the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS).
The agreement aims to get the best possible outcome for offenders on leaving custody. The first of its kind, is a contract between the department and prisons, setting out a steadfast commitment to working together and outlining shared objectives.
It is hoped this joined-up approach will effectively support offenders in preparation for release, and ultimately reduce reoffending which costs the taxpayer £18 billion each year.
Local Partnership Agreements form part of National Partnership Agreements, which aim to support businesses by increasing opportunities and moving unemployed people into sustainable jobs.
Minister for Welfare Delivery, Will Quince, said:
Minister for Prisons, Lucy Frazer, added:
Under the agreement, each partner sets out their defined roles and statutory responsibilities, but each must work together to ensure the most effective join-up between services to provide support to those in custody, and on leaving.
Each local agreement is tailored to the individual prison. Quarterly meetings will be held between both partners and the agreement regularly reviewed.
This collaborative approach between the DWP and HMPPS to support prisoners brings together many services from providing work experience and education in prison and beyond, through to support, training and employment opportunities for ex-offenders.
And now, thanks to the national rollout of a phone line, prison leavers will also be supported to claim Universal Credit online, and can apply for an advance meaning they can access money on the day of release.
East Anglia District Manager Julia Nix said: