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‘Every government department should have ministerial family leads to boost family stability’

Report on prison reform calls for wider support for positive family relationships

A new study by Lord Michael Farmer, published by the Ministry of Justice, has called for a change in the culture of government so that the value of positive family relationships is recognised in all areas.

The report – Importance of strengthening prisoners' family ties to prevent reoffending and reduce intergenerational crime – says that research has shown that close ties between prisoners and key family members can significantly reduce the risk of reoffending which costs society £15 billion every year.

The report calls for broader change throughout government. Lord Farmer says:

"Over the last forty years, society as a whole has been experiencing unprecedented levels of family breakdown, particularly in its most disadvantaged communities. Arguably we are, as a result, living in a society that appears to place little value on family relationships. This can make us less sensitive to the negative effects on prisoners' children, other family members and prisoners themselves when prolonged separation is experienced and when relationships come under intense strain and may not even survive a prison sentence.

"The cultural change sought by the Secretary of State and by this Review needs to be part of a broader change in the culture of government such that the value of positive family relationships is recognised in all areas. There should be ministerial family leads in each government department and cross-departmental working to boost family stability, particularly in poorer, more disadvantaged communities."

To read the report, click here.