At Parliamentary Questions last week Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, praised local and national charities who help vulnerable people including ex-offenders get back on their feet, and acknowledged the brave and devoted service of prison officers at high security HMP Long Lartin.
Mr Huddleston told MPs that it had been a privilege to present long service awards to over a dozen prison officers at Long Lartin prison. Many of the prison officers had completed over twenty years of service.
The Prisons Minister, Bob Buckland MP, joined Nigel to praise the work of Long Lartin prison officers, and informed the Mid Worcestershire MP that the Ministry of Justice was working to improve the support and training services for all prison officers, a move which Mr Huddleston warmly welcomed.
Mr Huddleston also highlighted the work of charities who provide support to ex-offenders who are trying to gain skills and find employment when they leave prison. He mentioned the work of Fred Sirieix, a TV personality known as the maître d’ in Channel 4’s programme, First Dates. Last year Mr Huddleston met Justice Secretary, David Gauke and Mr Sirieix to talk about ‘The Right Course’ programme for prisoners, which helps them gain new skills to get a good job on release from prison.
Mr Huddleston asked what the Government was doing to support these voluntary organisations and charities. The Prison’s Minister replied that more probation services are being devolved to Local Authorities to provide tailored, local responses to curb re-offending, and that £20 million of funding will be made available to pilot innovative local schemes.