The governors of HMP Leeds should be applauded in having published a “mission statement”, which is copied in full below.
“Leeds prison was built in 1847 and has been the centre of public protection for the citizens of Leeds and West Yorkshire for over 150 years. We understand that we have an enormously challenging task in dealing with some of the most damaged people in society but we are committed to shaping our core business to meet the challenges outlined in the Government Green Paper ‘Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders.
In response to these challenges we have set out our work around 7 commitments which we believe we need to deliver to directly reduce the number of offenders who re-offend after release.
The commitments are:
- To work with our Transforming Rehabilitation partners to reduce reoffending for prisoners serving less than 12 months.
- To be a prison for the local community, building and maintaining influential partnerships.
- To be a prison that reduces drug and alcohol dependency and gives prisoners the opportunity to actively engage in recovery.
- To keep family ties at the core of our resettlement strategy.
- To ensure prisoners are meaningfully engaged whilst in custody.
- To treat prisoners with dignity and respect and encourage them to take responsibility for their actions.
- To make HMP Leeds a place where people want to work.
We believe that our primary function is to serve the courts of West Yorkshire and that we should focus our efforts on reducing reoffending rates of those offenders sentenced to less than 12 months and who will remain with us during their time in custody. We have been ‘Protecting the Public Since 1847’ and will build upon this rich heritage and experience by continuing to hold offenders securely and by working hard to ensure to prevent them returning in the future.”