The Rt Hon David Lidington, Secretary of State for Justice, was guest of honour at a Langley House Trust prayer breakfast. This was held in partnership with the Conservative Christian Fellowship (CCF) at the Conservative Party Conference 2017.
Whilst delegates tucked into a hearty breakfast, Langley addressed members of the Conservative party, local church leaders, community groups and personnel from the Justice Sector. Langley highlighted issues facing the prison system, including the increased availability of drugs in prison, high levels of violence and record levels of self-harm.
The prison system has faced significant challenges in recent years, with drugs and violence issues being compounded by a rising prison population and fewer prison staff.
Langley also spoke about the increasing need to maintain funding for supported housing which provides a lifeline to offenders coming out of prison, who might otherwise face homelessness.
The Government is planning to change funding for supported housing from April 2019 which could prove devastating to hundreds of thousands of supported housing beds across the UK. This would significantly reduce the housing available for offenders on release from prison after April 2019.
Many attendees were concerned about the scheme and committed to making their local MP aware of the situation, prior to a supported housing debate taking place on 10th October.
The Secretary of State for Justice addressed the breakfast meeting with his intentions to improve prison safety and opportunities for rehabilitation.
He recalled his first impression of the state of the Justice Sector and recognised the need for stability within the Ministry of Justice, which has seen four different Justice Secretaries in the space of the last two years.
Mr Lidington paid attention and a keen interest in Langley’s work in housing and in particular the provision provided for older offenders leaving prison.
Following the culmination of the prayer breakfast, barristers, MPs, prison governors, church leaders and other members of the Conservative party were positive about supporting Langley House Trust’s vision of helping people live crime free lives.