Prisons are necessary. But we must ensure that we as a society do everything possible to keep people out of prisons in the first place. And we must ensure that truly effective support is available to the vast majority of offenders who would much rather have a regular job to support them and their families. That means that prisons must welcome with open arms those organisations and companies willing to help offenders back in to society.
Our mental health system is failing at a time when it should be being made a greater priority... We must change the status of mental health, not just in our National Health Service, but just as importantly, in our wider society... This is why mental health will be a top priority for the next Labour government.
The voluntary and community sector has always championed the rights and needs of the disadvantaged; fought for equality; and stood up for social justice. Now is the time to advocate these aims as never before. Cuts and many other government policies are taking the country in the opposite direction. Charities cannot ignore this.