Headlines: October 10th, 2003

A strategy has been launched in the north west of England to stop persistent offenders returning to a life of crime after leaving prison. Figures show that three quarters of those who have served a short sentence for burglary or theft are reconvicted of similar offences within two years and crime committed by ex prisoners is estimated to cost at least 11 billion pounds nationally.The strategy to break the cycle of re-offending will bring together the prisons and outside services such as the probation service, police, local authorities and a wide range of other agencies which come into contact with offenders. It will focus on the problem areas for people leaving prison including employment, accommodation, learning and skills, life skills and offending behaviour, family and social support, drug and alcohol misuse, health, finance, victims and community.

The strategy provides for action to be taken to reduce the risk of re-offending before, during and after custody. Offenders taking part in the Strategy will be warned that they will be closely monitored and face tough punishment if caught re- offending

The Regional Resettlement Strategy is a joint initiative between the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Home Office.