We welcome today’s announcement by David Cameron on prison reform. As a charity with a long track record of working in prisons and with prison leavers, we already know that prisoners can be assets to society if they are given the opportunities to do so.

These reforming sentiments should now be followed through with determined and timely action by both Government and prison governors.

This should include:

- Allowing people in the criminal justice system to be at the centre of helping others reform through adopting peer-led approaches using professionally trained, carefully selected ex-offenders. See more on our Peer Advisor Programme.

- Supporting education in prisons. It plays a vital role in helping reduce re-offending and helping people to successfully resettle. This should include funding to provide vocational qualifications of a higher level in prison.

- Where appropriate, encouraging the use of Release on Temporary Licence and recognising its benefits. These include allowing people in custody the opportunities to further their education and training, apply their learning in the community and ultimately boost their employability.

St Giles Trust Chief Executive Rob Owen OBE said:

“Prisons present an opportunity to help some of the most complex, needy people in society and reduce the human and financial costs of many of our social ills in the UK. This is an opportunity we should seize wholeheartedly and I am encouraged by the PM’s announcement today.”