Commissioner welcomes reforms to tackle reoffending
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has welcomed changes to the law, introduced this week, that will see many more offenders supervised on their release from prison.
The new rules mean that prisoners sentenced to less than year will be managed on their release by the recently-created Community Rehabilitation Company, which is BeNCH in Hertfordshire and three other counties. 
The aim of the changes under the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 (ORA) is to reduce the reoffending rates for a group of offenders who were not previously supervised when let out.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “This excellent piece of legislation at last ensures that offenders are better supervised, managed and supported when they are released from prison. This will reduce reoffending and bring crime down even further and is to be welcomed and applauded.
“It has been incredibly frustrating to see so little done in the past to see the same people carry on committing crimes, with prison sentences only giving a short-term respite to communities from their offending.”
He added: “Alongside changes to probation services across the country, we are now in a much better position for prison to be not just a deterrent, or short-sharp-shock punishment, but a real way to reduce crime in the long term and create even safer communities.”
Mike Penning MP who is Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims announced the commencement order, which began on 1st February, in a letter to Police and Crime Commissioners.  He said: “This marks another significant step in implementing the reforms which will reduce the stubbornly high rate of reoffending which has been far too high for far too long.”
He thanked PCCs for their continued engagement throughout the reforms.
The most significant change the ORA makes is to extend statutory supervision to the 45,000 offenders a year who are released from short prison sentences of less than 12 months. Most of this group currently receive no statutory supervision after completing a custodial sentence.
These offenders have the highest reoffending rates of any group. Almost 60 per cent of adult offenders released from short prison sentences in the year to March 2013 went on to reoffend within the next 12 months: a total of 16,719 re-offenders committing 85,047 further offences.
The National Audit Office has estimated that the total cost to the economy of crime committed by recent ex-prisoners was between £9.5billion and £13bn. Of this, the cost of crime committed by offenders released from short prison sentences accounted for around £7bn to £10bn a year.
You can contact the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner by email:  by telephone 01707 806100 or by post to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, Harpenden Police Station, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, AL5 4GZ. You can also follow the Commissioner on Twitter @HertsPCC and find out more on his Facebook page: HertsPCC.