Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

15 JUL 2015

Hampshire MPs discuss future of probation

Purple Futures, the Interserve-led partnership responsible for delivering probation and rehabilitation services to low and medium-risk offenders in Hampshire, met with local representatives in Parliament to discuss reducing reoffending in the county.

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford, sponsored and chaired the session, which was well attended by MPs from across Hampshire, including Maria Miller MP (Basingstoke) and Penny Mordaunt MP (Portsmouth North). The session started with briefings from Interserve and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) on how the new probation services provided to offenders serving less than 12 months have started to take effect.

Some of the main challenges to reduce reoffending, including joining up accommodation and health services for offenders, were discussed at the session with local MPs, including the fresh perspective of the charities who are members of the Purple Futures partnership and operating in the county, including Catch 22, the Society of St. James, P3 and 3SC. The Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, Simon Hayes, was also in attendance building on the foundations he and Steve Brine MP put down at last year's Winchester Conference on probation services.

Steve Brine MP said: "This is, to me, one of the most important elements of the Government's programme. Of course we need to reduce reoffending levels because the country cannot afford the cost of so many people in custody but, more important than that, is the fact if we get this right we turn peoples' lives around. That is the aim for me ultimately."

Mary D'Arcy, Hampshire and Isle of Wight CRC's Chief Executive, said: "It was a very useful meeting where MPs were keen to hear about the local issues affecting rehabilitation services. We explained the benefits of working in partnership as Purple Futures with Interserve, P3 and 3SC, to build capacity and utilise the best expertise to reduce reoffending in our communities. This approach includes using local providers such as Catch 22 and the Society of St James to deliver effective services. We also highlighted successful collaborative projects such as Integrated Offender Management and the About Turn Projects which operate in Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and Basingstoke."

Yvonne Thomas, Interserve's Managing Director for Justice and Chair of Purple Futures added: "We were delighted to have the opportunity to brief local representatives from Hampshire and we reiterated our commitment to build on the good work already taking place in the county to reduce re-offending further wherever possible."

Pictured; Steve chairing the meeting in Portcullis House, Westminster on Weds 17th July 2015.

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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company

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