Crime costs the UK some £72bn each year. The failure to crack re-offending among prisoners serving short-term sentences is a key driver of these costs. Offenders with short prison terms comprise the large majority of those handed sentences each year, and more than 70% are back behind bars within two years of release. Each time they return to prison, the cost to the criminal justice system is around £60,000 per person.
A radical new approach to tackle re-offending with much less public money is needed in the decade to come. This publications sets out just such an approach. The SMF accountability model proposes:
- Splitting the short- and long-term prison populations to enable more accountable rehabilitation of persistent offenders on short-term sentences.
- Contracting out end-to-end offender management for all sub-12-month offenders to regional providers paid by results to reduce recidivism.
This new approach offers a step-change in outcomes from the criminal justice system, and substantial savings to both the public purse and wider society.