Resettlement prisons are part of a shake-up of England’s prison system. The English correctional system will have eventually 70 resettlement prisons. The majority of offenders released from these prisons live in, or close to, the area in which they will live upon their release. The Justice Secretary stated:
“Rehabilitation in the community must begin behind the prison walls and follow offenders out through the gates if we are to stand a chance of freeing them from a life of crime…This is the best place for them to re-build relationships with families, deal with drug or alcohol problems and get the help they need with mental health issues. By tackling these issues, in local communities, we have a genuine opportunity to reduce re-offending and the creation of more victims of crime.”
In the United States, we have the same problem of too many inmates serving their sentences far from home. It is recognized that not all inmates, for various reasons, will be able to do their prison time in or near their home. If an inmate has a short sentence or has completed most of his prison sentence and is not a danger to the community, the inmate has a better chance of avoiding recidivism in a resettlement prison close to home. For example, during my time at a pre-release facility, I knew many inmates whose families could not visit, since their families lived on the other side of the state and did not have money for gasoline, etc. Some of the inmates should have served the balance of their sentences in pre-release facilities near their home.
The United States should follow the example set by their cousins across the ocean.