47% of prisoners have no qualifications - compared to just 15% of the UK working age population.
48% of prisoners have a reading age below that of an average 11 year old
65% of prisoners have the numeracy (maths skills) of below that of the average 11 year old
[in the general public around 23% of people have the maths and reading skills of less than an 11 year old]
41% of male prisoners and 30% of female prisoners have previously been excluded from school, rising to 52% of young prisoners.
Offenders who undertake prison education are three times less likley to reoffend than those who don't.
68% of prisoners were unemployed in the month before entering custody.
13% of prisoners have never worked
68% of prisoners beleive a job is essential in stopping reoffending
80% of prisoners are incapable of completing a job application form
Ex-offenders often make model employees as they are grateful to have a job and realise that their chances of getting another one are slim.
The cost of reoffending by recently released prisoners has been estimated as £11 billion a year in the UK.
So - if the Government is serious about saving money as well as reducing the human misery especially for victims of crime it ought to be doing more.
Instead of overcrowded prisons, we need prisons where people can be educated and learn skills and obtain qualifications that will help them secure employment.
Length of sentances, parole and priviledges could be linked to engagement with the education system.
Upon release prisoners need to be found employment - paying employees to take people on could be cheaper than leaving ex-offenders unemployed.