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Prison report

Reform to the way prison buildings are designed and operated could reduce assaults on staff by over half, reduce stress in prison staff, reduce overall lifecycle costs and see prisoners rehabilitated – cutting reoffending rates in England and Wales, which stand at some of the highest in Europe. In fact, figures show that just under half of all adult prisoners are likely to reoffend within one year of release at a cost to the tax payer of £13 billion a year.

Compiled by criminologists and psychologists with input from charities, prisoners, victims and prison managers the new report, from property and construction consultancy Gleeds, is titled ‘Rehabilitation by Design: Encouraging Change in Prisoner Behaviour’. Any new prison building must address the reoffending rate, the report suggests; this could be achieved through changes to the prisons’ built environment. Behavioural policies and clever design principles have benefited prison systems abroad, and could be used in the UK.

The report was presented to MPs, peers and industry figures in a reception at the House of Commons in October. It features academics including Prof Keith Humphreys of the University of Stanford and Prof Yvonne Jewkes from the University of Brighton, with the support of management consultants PwC.

Richard Steer, Chairman of Gleeds Worldwide, said: “This new study offers some fantastic insights into how we can maximise the opportunity presented by the proposed new build prisons programme. By reviewing the way in which we design and operate our facilities we have the chance to make some truly positive changes to the criminal justice system, reducing reoffending rates and making our prisons both safer and more efficient for inmates and staff.”

Professor of criminology Yvonne Jewkes added: “In bringing together examples of some of the most effective criminal justice systems from around the world, coupled with original data and expert commentary, we have created an invaluable resource for the UK Government. The recommendations contained within the report have been carefully considered, are easily implemented and have been proven to be hugely effective in reducing rates of recidivism, minimising violence and maximising value for money. As the country embarks upon a landmark programme of reform you could not hope for a better starting point from which to work.”

For the report in full visit https://www.gleeds.com/.

For a video click on https://www.gleeds.com/NewsMedia/Videos/Rehabilitation-by-Design/.

Pictured: HMP Leicester.


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