Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is absolutely crucial that an adequate level of education and training in prisons can be delivered. I welcome the commitments of the Ministers of Justice and Employment and Learning to work together on this matter.
“To stop prisoners reoffending after release they must be given training and skills to help them gain employment and keep them out of prison in the future.
“Having an adequate level of skills services in prison makes sense as it has the potential to help us invest to save money in the long term through reducing the prison population in future. David Ford is delivering to help address a lack of attention under direct rule to the important issue of prison reform.
“Prison is not just about punishment – it is also about rehabilitation to help prevent reoffending to protect the public. We need to be realistic and acknowledge that rehabilitation like education and training will help tackle crime in the medium and long term.”