Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, welcomed Helen Clayton-Hoar to her post as the new Governor of HMP Bedford with an offer to work together to better prepare prisoners for release.
The Commissioner visited Governor Clayton-Hoar at the 200-year-old prison yesterday (Thursday 28 September) to meet the Governor and see how they can best use their services and funds together to ensure more successful resettlement and rehabilitation for prisoners.
Commissioner Holloway said:“I was particularly keen to make sure that the new Governor and her staff are fully aware that I have a scheme to fund rent deposits for those leaving prison as we both agree that a stable home is the foundation of a life away from crime.
“I also wanted to explore how I might support the Governor by arranging training for prisoners in key building skills as this county is one of the fastest expanding areas for house building in the country and the demand for bricklayers, plasterers, roofers, electricians and plumbers is outstripping supply.
“If a prisoner is to “go straight” for life they need to have a means of properly supporting themselves and their families and local companies are far more likely to extend an offer of work if the individual has the very skills they most need,” she added.
Governor Clayton-Hoar comes into the role at Bedford Prison with 25 years’ experience in the prison service and explained her vision to the Commissioner.
She said: “Above all else I want this to be an organisation which aims to release offenders back into the community both inspired and equipped for change; inspired by the mentoring approach of the staff and equipped with the skills necessary to find work.
“I am very pleased to have been appointed as the Governor of Bedford Prison and am looking forward to working with colleagues within the local criminal justice system and the wider community in Bedfordshire.
“I have worked within the Prison Service for 25 years and have previously held positions in the Thames Valley and London areas. I am, however, new to Bedfordshire and will be looking to work with the PCC to ensure the prison delivers its part in keeping the public safe in our local community,” added the Governor.
“I genuinely feel that the Governor and I share a vision for breaking the vicious cycle of prisoners leaving through the gate one year and coming back the next, with nothing changing for them or society.
“Helping them to find a proper home and the means of supporting themselves forever can only add to the safety of the people of Bedfordshire as well as being the right thing to do for prisoners themselves,” Commissioner Holloway said.