Tony Lloyd has warned against using re-offending rates to justify changes to the probation system, which will see parts of the service contracted to the private sector.
The Commissioner was responding to comments made by Jeremy Wright MP in the Manchester Evening News after the newspaper reported that 55% of prisoners who leave Strangeways prison after serving shorter sentences go on to commit further crime within 12 months of their release.
Tony said: “I’m not surprised by these figures and reflect my concerns that shorter sentences just don’t work, instead perpetuating a merry-go-round of offending and re-offending which undermines public confidence and puts a strain on police resources in the criminal justice system.
“However, along with many who work in the criminal justice system, I have serious concerns about the Government’s plans to overhaul the probation system and I have made these very clear to ministers.
“These unclear plans could have significant implications for Greater Manchester, where our strong partnership working has seen improvements in the way services are delivered. The lack of detail in the plans and the national contracting framework will put this at risk and is why I do not support these plans, and have called for Greater Manchester to be exempted from the contract area proposals.
“Jeremy Wright is attempting to use these statistics to justify his ill-judged probation proposals. I call on him to have a sensible debate with those experienced practitioners who have real worries about these plans. Together we can look for a way forward that will reduce re-offending and the misery it causes to ordinary law-abiding people across the country.”