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Rehabilition ‘needs church help’

by
10 October 2014

by a staff reporter

DIOCESE OF ST ALBANS

Involved: the Bishop of Rochester and Bishop to Prisons, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, speaks at the conference, last month

Involved: the Bishop of Rochester and Bishop to Prisons, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, speaks at the conference, last month

MORE churches need to get involved in rehabilitating offenders as they leave prison, a national conference heard last month.

Speaking at the National Penal Affairs and Criminal Justice conference on 11 September, the CEO of the National Offender Management Service, Michael Spurr, asked churches to work with probation services to offer more support to offenders to help prevent them reoffending on release.

Under changes being introduced in the probation service this winter, private and other providers will provide probation services inside prisons and beyond the prison gates. These new Community Rehabilitation Companies will seek support from the voluntary sector, including the faith sector. Many churches are already involved in supporting chaplains and prisoners.

Mr Spurr said: "Churches are already working in prisons and have community links outside, and are a great source of support for individuals and offenders who want to change. There is evidence that supporting people in that way works."

More support will be offered to prisoners on shorter sentences, and Mr Spurr urged churches to get involved here, too.

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