St Giles Trust has welcomed the Prime Minister’s remained commitment to a rehabilitation revolution following yesterday’s speech on reducing re-offending.

In particular, we support measures which will use ex-offenders to help others break their cycle of offending.  As a charity with years of experience using this approach, we know that this is one of the most effective ways of helping offenders move their lives forward to become crime-free.  Well trained, carefully selected ex-offenders with direct experience of the issues their clients face can offer a highly credible, trusted service to the most disengaged individuals. They are also inspiring role models and living proof that change is possible.

By training our staff to a recognised, accredited qualification and rigorously vetting who we employ, we minimise any risks.

This new statement of intent from the Prime Minister and Justice Minister Chris Grayling is a step in the right direction.  We are now calling for this to be backed up by allowing our ex-offender staff to realise their full potential by easing access to probation and prisons.  Our aspiration is to forge effective working partnerships with statutory agencies so our ex-offender staff can work alongside them to help break the costly, destructive cycle of crime and prison.

Yesterday’s announcement underlines a need to further open doors for reformed ex-offenders and help them become agents of change. This will bring about benefits for the taxpayer, wider society and, most importantly, mean fewer future victims of crime.