Two Police and Crime Commissioners are joining forces to urge the Government to reinstate national funding to a charity which plays a crucial role in reducing the reoffending of sex offenders.
North Yorkshire Commissioner Julia Mulligan and her Lincolnshire counterpart Marc Jones are asking the Justice Minister Rory Stewart to ensure money continues to be provided to Circles of Support and Accountability.
It supports Circles nationwide which provide assistance and supervision when sex offenders are released from prison on licence. They play a crucial role in rehabilitating these individuals and supporting the wider community when they are reintegrated into society.
Independent research has proved that the work of Circles helps prevent reoffending.
In her letter, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said:
What is of most concern to me is that the Circles most at risk are those supporting high-risk offenders as they require the most concentrated support and investment. As such, the impact of this decision is to put at risk not only these individuals trying to rebuild their lives, but possible future victims should they reoffend.
While, in his letter, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said:
I strongly believe that Circles is a powerful and cost-effective way of tackling a growing issue and is exactly the kind of programme that should be attracting more support from Government, not less.
The Ministry of Justice has recently indicated it is reconsidering the decision to withdraw funding, and both Police and Crime Commissioners are asking for this to happen as soon as possible.
Julia Mulligan added:
I hope that in reviewing this decision, the Minister realises the impact that withdrawing funding would have on the vital work carried out by Circles across the country and reverses the decision.
It is rehabilitation that has been proven to work, provides extremely good value for money and supports communities by ensuring sex offenders released from prison are less likely to reoffend.
By coming together, Marc and I hope the Government appreciate the strength of feeling on this issue and take action to ensure continued funding for Circles.