David Hanson MP to lead review of prison education in Wales
Mr Hanson, who has long-standing experience in the criminal justice system as a former Minister of State for Prisons will explore what works well and what are the areas for improvement. He will consider the needs of three distinct groups- young people, women and men - and review the barriers to effective delivery. He will undertake the review over the summer and report back to the Minister by the end of November 2018.
Education, training and libraries in prisons in Wales has been devolved to the Welsh Government since 2009 and the Welsh Government currently funds this learning through a joint Memorandum of Understanding with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service and with funding provided for this purpose by the UK government.
The Minister said:
“I am grateful to David for agreeing to undertake this review of education in Welsh prisons. He brings with him a great deal of experience and knowledge from his time as Minister of State for Prisons, Probation and Youth Justice.
“We know that excellent education in prisons is vital if we are to reduce re-offending. Boosting skills and employment is believed to be one of the most effective means of combating crime by breaking the cycle of disadvantage and inequality that many offenders experience. We also know that, at the moment, prison education in Wales is not as good as we would like it to be.
“David’s review, therefore, is the first step in making the necessary improvements that we need to rehabilitate prisoners and provide them with the skills and confidence they need to become economically active members of society after they are released.”
Mr Hanson said:
“I am delighted to undertake this review of education in prisons for the Welsh Government. I hope that I can utilise my experience as Minister of State for Prisons to ensure that this evaluation produces are report which can earmark key areas of reform and opportunity.
“Ensuring that we have a criminal justice system that rehabilitates offenders is key. By creating a prisons system that educates and retrains offenders we are producing new members of society who can contribute and pay their own way. This will be an evidence led investigation and I hope that we can build upon past successes, root out current failures and embrace future opportunities so that the prisons system in Wales is the envy of the UK.”