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The rehabilitative prison: What does 'good' look like?

In his ground-breaking speech on 8th February 2016, the Prime Minister promised to make prisons “places of positivity and reform… places of care, not just punishment; where the environment is one of rehabilitation and mending lives”.

This Clinks discussion paper aims to provide an early opportunity for voluntary sector organisations to contribute views on the forthcoming prison reforms, and invites your responses to some key questions. What would characterise a different prison regime ‘conducive to rehabilitation’? What might ‘good’ look like in a newly designed prison? What could ‘good’ - or perhaps ‘good enough’ – start to look like across the rest of the prison estate?

Over the coming months, as more detailed proposals emerge from government about the intended reforms, Clinks will be offering a variety of opportunities for these and other questions to be debated with our members and other key stakeholders. In the meantime, your responses to this paper will give policy makers and autonomous governors the benefit of learning from the sector in seeking to create a truly rehabilitative culture in prisons. 

Some key questions posed by the paper:

  • Do you think a smaller prison population is a pre-requisite for a reformed prison system focused on rehabilitation?
  • If safety, decency and humanity constitute the bedrock of a rehabilitative culture, should these be viewed as key indicators of the rehabilitative ‘health’ of each establishment?
  • What might a ‘good’ prison regime look like that addresses each individual’s reoffending risk factors and does so within an environment geared to supporting long-term desistance?
  • What would be the necessary pre-conditions for truly effective involvement of the voluntary sector as the reforms progress, particularly for smaller organisations?

Download the discussion paper here

PUBLISHED: April 2016