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Locked up Potential: The Case for Prison Reform

Locked up Potential: The Case for Prison Reform

Former UK Cabinet Minister and ex-prisoner, Jonathan Aitken will speak at the Robson Hanan Trust's inaugural annual lecture.

When: 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18th October

Where: Lecture Theatre No 1, Rutherford House, School of Government, Victoria University, Wellington

Jonathan Aitken is an author, broadcaster, columnist, lecturer and campaigner for prison reform. He is a former Cabinet Minister, Member of Parliament, and ex-prisoner.

His wider activities include being a director of Prison Fellowship International, executive director of The Trinity Forum in Europe; and Honorary President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Centre for Social Justice's policy study group on Prison Reform.

The resultant report “Locked Up Potential: A Strategy for Reforming Prisons and Rehabilitating Prisoners” will form the basis for his lecture. Jonathan will speak on the report Locked up Potential, produced by an 11-strong working group under his chairmanship. It recommended a radical new strategy to localise, incentivise and reform the prison system with a detailed agenda for "joined up rehabilitation" on both sides of the prison wall.

Highlights of the over 70 recommendations in the report included the abolition of the National Offender Management Service, and its replacement by a local network of Community Prison and Rehabilitation Trusts.

It was further proposed to pay cash incentives to prison and probation officers who delivered reduced reoffending rates, and overhaul the system of drug and alcohol treatment for offenders. It also advocated for a national drive to bring thousands more volunteers into working with prisoners and released prisoners for their mentoring, literacy training, preparation for employment, housing and job finding on release.

Jonathan will share that experience, and the response from media, the public and parliament to the proposals.

Tea and coffee will be served following the lecture.


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