St Giles Trust welcomes the pledge of much-needed extra funding for prisons by Justice Secretary Liz Truss in today’s White Paper unveiling.
We work in 33 prisons in England and Wales and witness first-hand the pressures both staff and prisoners encounter with increased numbers and limited resources.
St Giles Trust offers resettlement to serving prisoners through our Peer Advisor Programme. It provides a package of training and support to enable prisoners to become qualified advice workers. This helps ease the pressure on prison staff through using an under-utilised resource – serving prisoners themselves – to offer help and resettlement to other prisoners in need.
Attending today’s White Paper launch, St Giles Trust’s Chief Executive Rob Owen OBE said:
“I hope that the increase in prison staff will lead to an emphasis on quality, seeing prisoners and ex-offenders as positive assets who can go on to make hugely positive contributions to society if given the right opportunity. Furthermore, prison leavers need a job, a home and the right support from someone who has been there themselves if we really want to dramatically reduce levels of re-offending and start to empty our under-resourced, overstretched prisons.”
We also support the commitment to offer prison governors more autonomy. St Giles Trust’s ability to offer our Peer Advisor Programme in HMP Wandsworth came about as a result of it becoming a reform prison. We are now aiming to extend it to other prisons and hope the commitment to governor autonomy in today’s White Paper will help us realise this.