Plans to place prisoners from Herts in Bovingdon’s HMP The Mount for the final months of their sentences could drive down reoffending rates, says the county’s police and crime commissioner.
David Lloyd has spearheaded the campaign to ensure all local convicts are moved to the only prison in the county prior to their release, in a bid to ease their rehabilitation back into civilian life.
Under initial government plans, The Mount was earmarked to host prisoners from London, while Herts offenders would have been moved to a Suffolk jail.
The decision has since been overturned by justice secretary Chris Grayling and The Mount will now become Herts’ designated ‘resettlement’ facility.
Mr Lloyd said: “This is an excellent result for Herts.
“Getting prison leavers properly reintegrated back into the community is the best thing that can be done to stop them offending again.
“Housing, education, work and strong community ties are paramount as they can help steer ex-offenders away from a life of crime.
“Meanwhile, the authorities will also be better able to keep tabs on those prison leavers who are determined to go back to criminality.”
The resettlement scheme forms part of a new Transforming Rehabilitation programme by the government, which Mr Lloyd and the Herts police force have been working closely with other partnership agencies, services and charities to integrate.
It is hoped rehabilitating prisoners close to where they live will help them receive targeted training and support, prior to their sentence finishing and upon their return to the community.
The Mount’s governor Steven Bradford said: “In future, the prison will be able to better protect the local population in Herts from re-offending by former prisoners, by properly preparing them before their release into the community.
“This will be achieved by working much more closely with local agencies in resettling offenders.”