Prison release scheme ‘needs review’
5 Sep 2012 0

A programme that allows the temporary release of long-term prisoners into communities should be extended, according to campaigners.

The Prison Reform Trust claims that the scheme plays a pivotal role in reducing the amount of offenders who are reconvicted within a year of release and encourages responsibility.

The report said that prisoners who are released on a temporary licence (ROTL) have reportedly been able to rebuild relationships with their families and use social networking to find employment.

Research shows that the majority of inmates released on the scheme were better equipped to deal with the challenges of integrating themselves back into society following their release.

Prison governors currently use an element of their own discretion to decide who they release on the ROTL scheme, although offenders entering the last six months of their sentence are the preferred candidates.

Lord Woolf, chairman of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “If prisoners are unable to exercise responsibility during their sentence, the likely outcome is a creeping and all-pervading dependency by prisoners on the prison authorities during their sentence and an inability to exercise responsibility after their release.”