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Tuesday 20th November 2012 | 09:37
University and College Union press release
Prisoners without access to education are three times more likely to reoffend
Over half of crime in this country is committed by people who have been to prison
The University and College Union (UCU) said today (Tuesday) that prison education was essential if the government's plans to cut reoffending were to have any chance of success.
Speaking ahead of a speech from the justice minister, Chris Grayling, the union pointed to studies that show that prisoners who do not take part in education are three times more likely to be reconvicted than those that do*.
The union added that a recent National Audit Office report said that many prisoners were failing to get the rehabilitation they needed^. The report found that many prisoners were spending all day in their cells, rather than being engaged in education and rehabilitation.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "Chris Grayling's plans for mentoring people released from prison should be welcomed, as should his call for better-educated prisoners. Prison education is the key factor in cutting reoffending.
"The government needs to back today's rhetoric with proper funding and a real commitment to prison education. Our post-16 education system is threatened with huge cuts and there is a real risk that the teachers required won't be available to educate offenders."