Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright spoke of the importance of tackling the addictions of prisoners as he visited a pioneering rehabilitation programme in Preston.
The Justice Minister visited HMP Preston with Sarah McClinton, director of Mental Health and Disability at the Department of Health, to see the work that is helping to rehabilitate offenders by breaking their addictions.
The two met organisations involved in the North West Through the Gate substance misuse initiative.
The initiative is a joint undertaking between the departments that is helping to transform the way that offenders across the region are rehabilitated. Offenders are drug tested on arrival at HMP Preston and those who test positive are supported with access to treatment and services which will assist their recovery and will be continued on release.
A new Community Engagement Centre later helps prepare offenders for release with additional support.
Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said: “The North West Through the Gate substance misuse test is an excellent example of how through our groundbreaking through-the-gate reforms we are using the best of the voluntary, private and public sectors to help offenders turn their lives around for good.”
The test has been made possible after the DH Innovation Fund committed £10.5m to fund new ways of working.