rewarding self-improvement

Illiteracy and crime: Fat Tony explains

Fat Tony AKA Mike Williams

Mike Williams the CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform presented the below power point at the Act Party conference on the weekend. In my write up about his presentation, I was vague on some statistics so I am grateful to now be able to share with you all exactly what he showed us all. These are the facts about the link between illiteracy and criminality, the keys to reducing reoffending and some real life success stories.

In support of the kind of work that the Howard League does Act has released a new “carrot policy” to encourage criminals to upskill. Act call it “rewarding self-improvement.” ?The policy would not apply to the worst violent or sexual offenders. Prisoners would be able to earn a reduction of their sentence by successfully completing literacy, numeracy and driver licencing courses.

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What Mike Williams and David Seymour have in common

Mike Williams the CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform spoke at The Act Party conference yesterday. As an ex-president of the Labour party?and also their past campaign manager of four elections, I didn’t expect him to share any common ground with a party like Act. After all one of Act’s flagship policies was the three strikes legislation which is all about the stick and deterrence.

Mike Williams or Fat Tony as Cam has always affectionately called him, made a strong case for the power of volunteering where the cost to the taxpayer is zero. More to the point he illustrated examples where the cost of removing barriers was insignificant compared to the savings to the taxpayer when an offender was removed from both the justice system and the benefits system.

The barriers he mentioned were:

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