Educate to keep them straight

BETTER education and training for prisoners is central to keeping them on the straight and narrow when they leave prison, says a new report from the Government's social exclusion unit.

It recommends that all prisoners should sign a "going straight" contract, which would oblige them to take part in a range of courses and activities to prevent them re-offending.

At present, people who have been in prison account for one in five of all crimes, and nearly three in five are re-convicted within two years. Raising prisoners' level of education and skills makes them more employable - a key factor in reducing re-offending, says the report.

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