Examination of Witnesses (Questions 100
MONDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2002
(Mr Narey) 60,000 separate educational qualifications
gained by prisoners. Thirdly, we have got the sort of courses
which Mr Steinberg mentioned which are dealing with typically
resettlement, getting people job interviews, jobs and so forth.
Our strategy is to encourage all three.
101. What percentage of prisoners are involved
in accredited programmes? Am I right it is 10 per cent?
(Mr Narey) In accredited programmes about 86 per cent
of prisons now run accredited offending behaviour programmes.
102. I did not mean of prisons, I meant prisoners?
(Mr Narey) Prisoners?
103. Yes, it is about 10 per cent, is it not?
(Mr Narey) About 10 per cent of the static population.
104. So 90 per cent are not involved?
(Mr Narey) That is correct.
105. However much extra money you negotiate
from the Treasury, do you seriously expect that you are radically
going to change that number in any reasonable length of time from
10 per cent up to something more like 50 or 60 per cent?
(Mr Narey) As I mentioned, we have increased the number
very significantly in recent years. It has risen very dramatically
indeed clearly because I have stressed the need to deliver these
programmes meticulously and we would lose accreditation which
is not done by us, it is done by an independent body, we would
lose accreditation if we did not continue to do that meticulously
but I think we could significantly and quickly expand the programme.
106. To what level?
(Mr Narey) I am already confident that over the next
two or three years we will reach a target of about 9,000.
107. 9,000? That will be an increase of 50 per
cent which will be quite impressive and still leave 50,000 untouched?
(Mr Narey) I acknowledge that.
108. Presumably it will take a year or two to
get to 9,000, will it?
(Mr Narey) It would take us about two or three years
to get to that figure.
109. In three years' time you are saying that
50,000 will be untouched rather than 54,000?
(Mr Narey) For offending behaviour programmes, but
as I have explained that is only part of our arsenal. Every prisoner
at the same time will be having a basic skills assessment. Every
prisoner will be going for assessment for whether or not they
need help with drugs. The proportion of the prison population
who we think are suitable and can benefit from offending behaviour
programmes is very much smaller than the 68,000 we currently lock
110. I am shocked, I must say, by your statistic
that two-thirds are ineligible for 96 per cent of all jobs. Presumably
there are one-third, 20,000 of the 60,000 population at any one
time, who are eligible for 96 per cent of all jobs?
(Mr Narey) That is correct.
111. Of that one-third, how many go into jobs?
(Mr Narey) I would have to work it out. We believe
that of prisoners in total being discharged at the moment about
29 per cent tell us that they are going into a job or into training
of some sort.
112. 29 per cent go straight into jobs?
(Mr Narey) Or training.
113. Or training, right. Of those who leave
the door, 58 per cent come back within two years?
(Mr Narey) Based on those who were sent into prison
in the mid to late 90s the current reconviction rate is about
58 per cent.
114. You mentioned that basic education is the
single biggest thing you can do, which sounds sensible. I asked
the question of an old school friend of mine who has worked in
a prison as a Governor about what the single biggest thing one
could do was and his reply was "ensure the moment somebody
walks out of a prison door they have got a job to go to of some
sort", yet I think 77 per cent do not by the sound of it.
The report mentions in 4.16 this Custody to Work unit with funding
of £30 million over three financial years, that is £10
million a year. What is your total budget for programmes that
reduce reoffending, whether it is accredited programmes or job
clubs or whatever it is?
(Mr Narey) I do not have that figure to hand.
115. What is your total budget?
(Mr Narey) The total budget for the Prison Service?
(Mr Narey) About £2 billion.
117. Of the £2 billion, roughly how much
goes intoother than the fabric and what one might call
basic essentials to keep prisons goingthings that are to
do with education and training or literacy or drug rehabilitation,
things that might come broadly under the category of reducing
prisoner reoffending? Roughly out of that £2 billion, how
much goes on reducing prisoner reoffending?
(Mr Narey) I will check on this figure and write to
you if I am well off beam. It is quite a small proportion of that.
I would think from our annual basis for programmes that reduce
reoffending, probably no more than about £200 million.
118. Is that the biggest and the rest of it
simply goes onWhat is the biggest item, is it buildings
(Mr Narey) The biggest is pay for our staff carrying
out the custodial function primarily.
119. Have you looked at possibly employing different
kinds of staff to replace the staff you have now so that you can
increase the proportion going on things reducing prisoner reoffending?
(Mr Narey) Yes, we have. First of all, we have significantly
reduced the number of prison officers we have relative to prisoners
so we are much more efficient than we used to be. Most of the
money that we have received from the Treasury to invest in programmes
we have essentially had to find ourselves because, unlike most
other public services, I am almost unique in that for the past
three years I have had to pay back in cash a cash reduction every
year of one per cent of my budget. Essentially that is money that
has come back to me to pay for programmes. We have used that by
employing, first of all, different sorts of staff, many more probation
officers, many more psychologists, and also different sorts of
prison officers. The prison officers we employ now are younger,
much more likely to be coming into their first career and they
are brighter, they have to have five GCSEs or equivalent now and
a few years ago they did not. We are getting different sorts of
professions but also different sorts of people joining as prison
9 Note by witness: 23% say they are going into
a job and 6% say they are going into education or training. Back
Note by witness: Subsequent analysis shows that around
14% of the overall Departmental Expenditure Limit is put to reducing
prisoner reoffending, some £265 million in 2001-02. This
sum is slightly higher than my initial thought when asked at the