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Commenting on the Prisons and Courts Bill, Rachel O’Brien, Director of the RSA Future Prison project said,

“Hardly a day goes by without a stark reminder of the risks facing many of the people who live and work inside our prisons.

The RSA has long argued that putting a commitment to rehabilitation at the core of our prison system is the best way to tackle those risks, reduce reoffending and protect community safety.  By including a statutory duty to reform, the Prisons and Courts Bill accepts this fundamental shift in thinking about the purpose of prisons, and should be welcomed.

“The challenge now, however, is to ensure that prison governors are able to lead the way.  This means making sure the right freedoms, resources, structures and workforce skills are in place to make prisons places where people can progress.

“That’s why the RSA is embarking on a project to create a new organisation – the New Futures Network – which will act as a broker, champion and incubator for reform. Ultimately, rehabilitation is not a process; it is something that can or cannot emerge through providing people with the environments, opportunities and support to change. The New Futures Network provides one way of making this more likely.


Find out more about the RSA's work on prison reform: 

A matter of conviction: a blueprint for community-based prisons

New Futures Network

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