David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has said he wants to see a large increase in the use of payment-by-results schemes to prevent reoffending.
"By the end of 2015, I want to see payment by results spread right across rehabilitation," he told an event hosted by the Centre for Social Justice think tank. "Of course, there will be some high-risk offenders for whom this is not appropriate, but this approach should be the norm rather than the exception."
He said that payment by results for rehabilitation was "such a good idea I want to put rocket boosters under it".
"This government is engaged in what can only be described as a rehabilitation revolution – led by the new justice secretary, Chris Grayling," said Cameron.
"His main, driving mission is this: to see more people properly punished, but fewer offenders returning to the system.
"To achieve that, we’re saying to charities, companies and voluntary organisations – come and help us rehabilitate our prisoners."
This morning, Grayling told Radio 4’s Today programme that he was impressed with the evidence received so far from the first pilot payment-by-results programme – the social impact bond project being run at Peterborough prison, which involves the offender-rehabilitation charity St Giles Trust.
"We get the detailed statistics this month, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m very encouraged that it does indeed work," said Grayling.
He said he expected that the voluntary sector would play a large part in the rehabilitation agenda.
"There are some very good voluntary sector organisations like the St Giles Trust for example, who are involved in the Peterborough pilot, who I think have got great skills to bring to bear," he said.
He said that the use of ex-offenders as mentors for young people was "enormously powerful" and that this was a common approach in the voluntary sector.
The government has not yet said what funding will be made available for the scheme.