David Cameron's Big Society initiative envisages an increased role for communities and for voluntary and private sectors in the delivery of public services. As part of this, the Ministry of Justice is seeking to involve prisoners in their own rehabilitation - requiring them to work, earn money and repay the victims of their crimes.
This paper proposes that the 'rehabilitation revolution' would be boosted by the establishment of cooperatives and mutuals. This would allow offenders, ex-offenders, professional staff and community members to work in partnership providing employment, promoting rehabilitation and supplying comprehensive after-care services.
Collaborative structures such as these will foster the development of systems of mutual social and economic support to help offenders to desist from crime, and build a safer society.
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