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12 July 2019

PRT comment: Incentives policy framework

Commenting on the publication of the Incentives Policy Framework by the Ministry of Justice, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said:

“Our work shows that the people who live in prison have a genuine interest in a calm and well-ordered environment where constructive engagement is positively encouraged. This is reflected in much of the research evidence on effective prison regimes. Much heavier sentences means that many of those people are spending many more years of their lives inside. Given the chance, they will make practical suggestions about how to make prisons work better day to day. The fact that every prison will regularly have to bring prisoners and staff together to discuss their local policy on incentives makes sense. It should help to deliver the safe and constructive prison system the public should expect.”

Many changes in the new IEP policy framework are underpinned by evidence on procedural justice. The Ministry of Justice has recently published an analytical summary on prisoner and staff perceptions of procedural justice in English and Welsh prisons, which you can download by clicking here.

The Prison Reform Trust provided feedback to the stakeholder consultation on the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme last year. You can read a copy of our response by clicking here and our accompanying letter to the prisons minister, Rory Stewart, by clicking here.

The Prison Reform Trust’s Prisoner Policy Network examined the issue of incentives for its first report, published earlier this year. The report, ‘What incentives work in prison?’ is the result of an extensive consultation exercise with over 1,250 people with experience of prison.