Prisons in parliament

Numeracy and literacy rates in prison under the spotlight

Prison education rehabilitation class Mark Harvey

A civilian tutor helping men in a class. Image: Mark Harvey

Prisons in Parliament brings you up-to-date on the last week of politics and prisons. What’s been said? And by whom? Get it all here. 

Prisoner numeracy and literacy rates 

What are numeracy and literacy rates like in prisons? Asked Lord Browne of Belmont.

Lord Keen of Elie said that education tests for all those entering prison were introduced in 2014.

They show that in September 2015, of those entering prison:

  • Fewer than half had basic standards of English and maths
  • A third had identified learning difficulties


Rehabilitation services for short sentences

What supervision resources are provided for people released from jail following a sentence of 12 months or less in Wales? Asked Liz Saville-Roberts, MP.

“All prisoners sentenced to 12 months or less in custody receive through the gate services from the Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), whilst they are in prison. This includes support with securing employment, finding accommodation, debt and finance advice and resettlement to their community. On their release prisoners will then be supervised by the Wales CRC or National Probation Service, dependent upon their risk of harm.” said Sam Gyimah, Under-Secretary of State for Justice

In context

The Transforming Rehabilitation act came in last year under Chris Graying. The move replaced the previous 35 probation trusts across England and Wales with a National Probation Service and 21 ‘Community Rehabilitation Companies’ (CRCs).

  • The CRC’s are private providers that supervise low and mediumrisk offenders, about 70 per cent of the service.
  • Offenders who pose a high risk of serious harm to the public, or who have been convicted of the most serious offences, are still being managed in the public sector under the National Probation Service
  • There are eight providers, Sodexo is the biggest.


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