Across England and Wales newly-released people are in need of support by mentors, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said.
During one of his first speeches recently since taking on the role as Justice Secretary, Mr. Grayling told the media that whilst some previously locked up people are provided with mentors on their release, he wanted mentors to be available for every released person in England and Wales in an effort to change rates of incidents by these same people.
“When someone leaves [an institution], I want them to have a mentor in place to help them their lives back together. I want them to be met at the [institution’s] gate, to have a place to live sorted out, and above all someone who knows where they are, and what they are doing,” he said.
Mr. Grayling has an ideal mentor in mind: “Often it will be the [person who has been through the same thing and] gone straight who is best placed to steer the young [institutionalised person] back onto the straight and narrow.”
Paul McDowell, chief executive of crime reduction charity Nacro described the announcement as ‘a step in the right direction’ however emphasised the importance of investing in services which are ‘crucial to reducing [incidents],’ provide suitable housing, change drug and alcohol use and actively work ‘to change attitudes before and after the sentence.’
‘The Secretary of State is right to focus on what is needed to reduce incidents and the chronic challenges of doing the same actions again in our communities,’ he said.