Wiltshire's PCC prison visit forges partnership bond
Working together to break the cycle of re-offending and effectively aiding restorative justice were top of the agenda during a visit to HMP Erlestoke by Wiltshire's PCC.
Police and Crime Commissioners bring together key local partners within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) to ensure local needs and priorities are being met - and the prison service is one one of those key partners.
Philip Wilkinson was welcomed to the Wiltshire prison, near Devizes, by Governor Tim Knight and shown around the facilities by Custodial Manager Andy Miller, earlier this week (23 Nov).
Mr Wilkinson was impressed by what he saw. "My visit to Erlestoke was a first for me and it was a real eye-opener.
"I was struck by the dedication and commitment of the prison staff to provide and care for their prisoners.
"This care coupled with the education, skills and rehabilitation programmes prisoners take part in, as part of their sentence, are key to ensuring we don't have repeat offenders entering the system over and over again."
The commissioner is chair of the Wiltshire Criminal Justice Board (WCJB), which brings together agencies with responsibility for delivering criminal justice services across the county.
Mr Wilkinson added: "It is important that both my office and the prison service work together, along with all other agencies, to tackle the root causes of crime and to try and break that cycle of re-offending - it's in all of our interests.
"By working together we can improve outcomes both for victims of crime and people who offend and deliver justice in the most efficient and effective way possible."
HMP Erlestoke Governor Tim Knight said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the new PCC to HMP Erlestoke and we very much look forward to working with him, and those agencies represented on the Wiltshire Criminal Justice Board, as we strive to further reduce re-offending."